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Hong Kong imperils its role as a world finance hub

Financial Times October 9th, 2020.

In the last few days you have published several letters expressing opinions on Joshua Wong’s article (Opinion, September 30) and the actions of the Hong Kong government under the new national security law. These letters have included objections to the Hong Kong government’s behaviour and a defence of it by a representative of the Chinese Embassy in London.

It should be noted that, thus far, the three major hubs of the global financial system — New York, London and Hong Kong — have all operated under legal systems based fundamentally on the principles of English common law. It is the virtual universal acceptance of this solid legal foundation, based on case precedent and the principle of the rights of the individual, which has enabled the great growth of global financial markets since world war two.

The recent actions of the Hong Kong government make it clear that the Chinese government is now moving to bring Hong Kong, including the operations of its businesses and the lives of its citizens, fully under its political control. In these circumstances, it is very difficult to see Hong Kong retaining the essential trust and confidence of the global financial community.