US companies to be warned of risks of operating in Hong Kong

The US government will this week warn companies of increasing risks of operating in Hong Kong and also update a previously issued warning on Xinjiang, the Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

The report said that US companies face threats including the Chinese government’s ability to gain access to data that foreign companies store in Hong Kong.

The risks also included the new law that allows Beijing to impose sanctions against individuals or entities involved in making or implementing discriminatory measures against Chinese citizens or entities, the FT said, citing three people familiar with the matter.

On Tuesday, the United States will update a warning that former President Donald Trump’s administration issued on Xinjiang last year, FT said, adding that it will stress on the legal risks that companies face unless they ensure that their supply chains are not implicated in forced labour in Xinjiang.

This warning is “typical political manipulation and double standards” by Washington, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a press briefing in Beijing on Tuesday.

He said the rights of foreign investors in Hong Kong are clearly protected by Hong Kong’s laws, including the Basic Law, its mini constitution.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry also reaffirmed its opposition to what it views as US interference in Hong Kong’s affairs, adding that the city had been more stable under the security law.

The FT report also said that the United States will impose more sanctions this week in response to China’s crackdown on pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang.

China dismisses accusations of genocide and forced labor in Xinjiang and says its policies are necessary to stamp out separatists and religious extremists who plotted attacks and stirred up tension between mostly Muslim ethnic Uyghurs and Han, China’s largest ethnic group.

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