On July 16, 2021, the Biden administration, in a statement, warned businesses based in Hong Kong of increasing financial and regulatory risks. This comes on the basis that China continues to restrict political and economic freedom in the territory.
The U.S. government published a nine-pad long advisory on Honk Kong business which was published in collaboration with the Department of State, Commerce, Homeland Security, and Treasury. The document essentially warns that U.S. firms are and will continue to encounter a number of risks due to China’s national security law in Hong Kong.
The advisory further stated that at present, businesses face risks such as electronic surveillance without the need for warrants and the surrender of data to authorities. In addition, they have to also go through restricted access to information.
Antony Blinken (Secretary of State) stated that Beijing has slowly reduced Honk Kong’s reputation of accountable and transparent governance, in addition to respect for individual freedom. It has slowly broken its promise of leaving Honk Kong’s autonomy intact for 50 years.
Recently, U.S. also forced consent on seven Chinese officials as they violated Honk Kong’s autonomy. The country also issued a warning just this week to the businesses having ties to China’s Xinjiang province, citing increasing human rights violations and news of genocide in the country’s northwest region.
Washington has continuously criticized Beijing’s national security law passed in 2020, whose primary function is to limit Hong Kong’s autonomy and banning any literature that is against the Chinese Communist Party.
In 2020, the then U.S. President, Donald Trump, had already started putting restrictions looking at the action of China. In a speech from White House Rose Garden, he had stated that Hong Kong will now be treated similarly to Mainland China. No longer will the U.S. aid it with a grant of special privileges, export of sensitive technologies, and better economic treatment.
To all the warnings given and sanctions imposed by the U.S. government, China is retaliating with its own sanctions. The trade war between U.S. and China has growing concerns amongst businesses based in either of the countries and having business ties, so much so that the manufacturing units of the U.S. working from China have started looking at other countries such as Vietnam. This comes because of the Chinese government continuously making things hard for foreign companies and the constant warning given by the Biden administration to U.S. companies operating there as well.