Anti-sanctions law could be used to destabilize market: FS

Anti-sanctions law could be used as an excuse to rock the Hong Kong market, Financial Secretary Paul Chan Mo-po said.

Writing in his blog today, Chan said it is Hong Kong’s responsibility to introduce the law in Hong Kong.

He joins Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor in backing the law, saying it is a defensive action taken after the United States imposed unjustified sanctions on Chinese officials and threaten to end special tariff treatment for Hong Kong.

“We can expect someone to make speculations over this topic in an attempt to weaken Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center… they may even use this to rock the market for personal gains. We must stay on high alert and be prepared in the face of risks,” he wrote.

As for how the law should be implemented in Hong Kong, Chan said it will be Beijing’s decision as it falls into the scope of foreign affairs.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee passed the law last month to counter discriminatory foreign sanctions.

With the law, Beijing wants to give legal status to its countermeasures against the United States, the European Union, Britain and Canada sanctioning Chinese officials, entities and state bodies over trade, technology, Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues.

Individuals or entities involved in making or implementing discriminatory measures against Chinese citizens or entities could be put on a Chinese government anti-sanctions list, according to mainland law.

Such individuals could then be denied entry into China or be expelled. Their assets in China may be seized or frozen, and they could also be restricted from doing business with entities or people in China.

The National People’s Congress Standing Committee will meet this week, during which the anti-sanctions law is expected to be added to Annex III to pave the way for its implementation in Hong Kong.

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