China has halted cross-border listings between the London and Shanghai stock exchanges amidst growing tension between the communist regime and the United Kingdom over Hong Kong.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has suspended the Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme, which was meant to foster business ties with the UK, over perceived British interference in Hong Kong. The CCP believes that the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are a result of interventions by Britain and the United States.
Two anonymous sources within the Chinese government told Reuters that the decision was entirely political, pointing to Britain’s stance on the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and comments made about the abduction and torture of former UK consulate employee Simon Cheng by the CCP.
William Nee, a business and human rights analyst at Amnesty International’s Hong Kong office, told Bloomberg that “Beijing has been particularly sensitive to criticism of its conduct in Hong Kong”.
“China has a fairly extensive track record in putting up informal barriers to trade or harming business relations as a way for the Chinese government to wield more influence over other governments,” Nee added.
22 Years Later: How The Chinese Communist Party Destroyed Legacy of the Hong Kong Handover https://t.co/9Jw3I9P5Sk
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) January 1, 2020
The move to de-link the two stock exchanges by Beijing signals a growing diplomatic strain between the two nations, right as the UK will be in search of new trading partners after leaving the European Union at the end of this month.
Benedict Rogers, the founder of the UK based NGO Hong Kong Watch, in a statement given to Breitbart London, said that Prime Minister Boris Johnson must respond forcefully to China’s economic aggression.
“This decision by China is simply bullying, and there is only one way to respond to bullies and that is to stand up to them. It is time for the Prime Minister himself to speak out for our values of democracy, freedom, human rights and the rule of law, to stand up for Hong Kong in particular where we have moral and legal responsibilities under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and make it clear to China that we will not be intimidated or threatened,” said Rogers.
“China under Xi Jinping is facing the biggest human rights crisis since the Tiananmen massacre over 30 years ago and in some respects the worst crackdown since the Cultural Revolution. China is also increasingly a threat to our own freedoms and national security. It is time to stand up to this and defend our values,” he concluded.
Exclusive Video: Hong Kong Watch Founder Says UK Has a Responsibility to Take Lead, Call for Sanctions on China https://t.co/nSfXTkGfqE
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 24, 2019
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