LONDON (Reuters) - The United Kingdom said on Tuesday that China was risking the destruction of one of the jewels of Asia’s economy with a crackdown in the former colony of Hong Kong that breaches international law.
Asked about the risk to the Hong Kong dollar peg, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “If China is willing to interfere on political and autonomy grounds, it is also likely to pose a longer term threat to the economic prosperty and economic model that Hong Kong reflects and embodies.”
“The sad reality is that if China continues down this track, it will be strangling what has long been the jewel in the economic crown,” Raab said.
“There is still an opportunity for China to step back,” he said but added: “we think that it is unlikely that will happen.”
Hong Kong fell to sixth place from third in the latest ranking of global financial centres, according to the Z/Yen global financial centres index, behind New York, London, Tokyo, Shanghai and Singapore. It was Asia’s top hub in 2019.
Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Sarah Young; editing by Stephen Addison