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Leung Chun-ying lashes out at HSBC: You can't make money from China while following Western countries to do things that damage China

By Zhao Youping | shine.cn | Updated: 2020-05-30 18:01
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In response to a joint statement issued by the UK, the US, Australia, and Canada interfering with China's internal affairs, Hong Kong's former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying called on the Hong Kong government, businesses, and citizens to act against threats from the West in a Facebook post along with the rest of China. Leung is also a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, China's top political advisory body.

In the post, he also lambasted HSBC, stating, "It's been one week, but HSBC still hasn't taken a stance on the national security legislation", adding that HSBC's profits mainly come from China, and the self-proclaimed British bank can't make money from China while following Western countries to do things that damage China's sovereignty, dignity, and people's feelings.

Leung said that the UK, Australia, and Canada – three English-speaking countries dominated by white people – followed in the footsteps of their big brother, the US, to issue a joint statement and interfere in China's internal affairs. He said the national security legislation was made for Hong Kong and enacted for Hong Kong, so Hong Kong must stand by China, truly make Hong Kong China's Hong Kong, and clearly show these countries that Hong Kong is not their colony.

On HSBC, Leung said that during the handover of Hong Kong to China, many British investors abandoned the City, but the Chinese government was generous, allowing some of these companies, including HSBC, to continue enjoying a privileged status. After a week, HSBC however still hasn't expressed their stance on the national security legislation, and since the UK government has followed the US government, whether or not HSBC will follow the UK government is something the Hong Kong people need to be highly concerned about.

Leung wrote, "HSBC's profits mainly come from China, but the board of directors and senior management are almost all British. In terms of political issues, this self-proclaimed British bank can't make money from China while following Western countries to do things that damage China's sovereignty, dignity, and people's feelings."

Leung ended his message by saying, "We need to let the UK government, politicians, and British companies like HSBC know which side of the bread is buttered."

Leung's post (translation):

The UK, Australia, and Canada – three English-speaking countries dominated by white people – followed in the footsteps of their big brother, the US, to issue a joint statement and interfere in China's internal affairs. Products and services from these countries have a huge market both in Hong Kong and on the Chinese mainland through the port of Hong Kong.

The national security legislation was made for Hong Kong and enacted for Hong Kong, so Hong Kong must stand by our country and truly make Hong Kong China's Hong Kong. We must clearly show these countries that Hong Kong is not their colony.

We need to separate separatists, terrorists, and rioters from other people who simply belong to the opposition. Similarly, while fighting back against the so-called economic sanctions of Western countries on China, we need to draw a clear line between foreign companies and the British companies that maintain a major presence in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland.

During the handover of Hong Kong to China, many British investors abandoned the City, but the Chinese government was generous, allowing some of these companies, including HSBC, to continue enjoying a privileged status.

In today's world, the most important resource is markets, and China, including Hong Kong, is one of the world's largest markets. It's been one week, but HSBC still hasn't taken a stance on the national security legislation. The UK government has followed the US government; whether or not HSBC will follow the UK government is something we need to be highly concerned about.

Chris Patten told Bloomberg that "China is an enemy to us now", and "China must pay a price". I want to tell the British people that China will also draw a line in the sand. Let's see who will pay the bigger price.

HSBC's profits mainly come from China, but the board of directors and senior management are almost all British. In terms of political issues, this self-proclaimed British bank can't make money from China while following Western countries to do things that damage China's sovereignty, dignity, and people's feelings. China and Hong Kong doesn't owe HSBC anything. The China business at HSBC can be replaced overnight by banks from China and other countries.

If the UK were to confront China, the Hong Kong government and business communities from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong who hold HSBC accounts must take immediate action to protect themselves from being held hostage like Huawei. This is especially true for Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference members and National People's Congress deputies.

We need to let the UK government, politicians, and British companies like HSBC know which side of the bread is buttered.

Zhao Youping is a writer with Global Times

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