Hong Kong tycoons: National security law for HK will help boost investor confidence

HONG KONG, May 28, China Daily/ANN - The proposed legislation on national security for Hong Kong will boost global investors' confidence and buttress the city's status as an international financial center, business tycoons in Hong Kong said on Wednesday.

They believed the legislation will create a more favorable business and social environment.

The city's iconic billionaire Li Ka-shing said every country is duty-bound to protect its national security, and therefore people shouldn't read too much into the rationale behind this national security legislation.

The 91-year-old property magnate expects the move to have a positive effect on Hong Kong's long-term stable development and ease the central government's concerns about the city's situation.

Li said the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government must bear the responsibility to strengthen Hong Kong people's confidence in "one country, two systems "and gain the trust of the international community.

The planned law, currently under deliberation by the National People's Congress-the nation's top legislature-will outlaw acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and conspiracy with external forces in Hong Kong.

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Chairman of Sun Hung Kai Properties Raymond Kwok Ping-luen and Chairman of New World Development Henry Cheng Kar-shun, both major real estate developers in the city, said they believed that this legislation would effectively establish a stable and orderly social environment for investment and business for the benefit of all people and consolidate the city's lead as an international financial hub and its long-term stability and prosperity.

"I think the central government has made it clear that the legitimate interests of investors, enterprises and residents will continue to be protected by the law. Therefore, investors and businesses can put their hearts at ease and residents can continue with their peaceful and contented life," said Kwok.

Fu Yuning, chairman of China Resources Group in Hong Kong, said the decision to introduce a national security law and establish an enforcement mechanism can effectively help Hong Kong to boost global investors' confidence in its markets by putting a stop to violence by extremists and separatists.

That is of great importance in maintaining the status of Hong Kong as an international financial center, Fu said.

The Hong Kong Association of Banks, consisting of all licensed banks in the city, said investor confidence in Hong Kong is expected to be strengthened when details of the proposed legislation are made known.

In a statement on Tuesday night, the association said a stable business environment is a key prerequisite for the sustainable development of Hong Kong as an international financial center.

Meanwhile, more than 1.1 million Hong Kong residents, including top government officials, have signed a petition in support of the national security legislation in a campaign that started on Saturday.

US position rebutted

In a phone conversation on Tuesday with Emmanuel Bonne, a foreign policy adviser to French President Emmanuel Macron, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi reiterated China's position on the national security legislation for Hong Kong, saying he hoped the French would adhere to their objective and fair position.

In Beijing, foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, when asked about US President Donald Trump's threat of a strong response to the legislation, said it is purely China's internal affair, which allows no foreign interference.

The HKSAR is an integral part of China and the central government is responsible for upholding national security in the country, he said, reiterating the Chinese government's determination in implementing the "one country, two systems" principle, safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, and opposing external interference in Hong Kong affairs.

Zhao also said that China fully agreed with and highly appreciated Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's positive comments, after Lavrov said that recent statements by US officials about Hong Kong are "filled with a sense of superiority and a sense of impunity".

"The problems, which they are stirring up around Hong Kong, are related to China's domestic affairs, and we view them this way," Lavrov was quoted by the Russian state news agency Tass as saying on Tuesday.

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