US slams China’s coercive bullying tactics to pressurise UK

By: PTI | Washington |

Published: June 10, 2020 9:56:20 am

Pompeo said that Beijing’s aggressive behavior shows why countries should avoid economic overreliance on China. (NYT/File)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has slammed China’s coercive bullying tactics, saying the nation’s browbeating of London-headquartered HSBC bank to pressurise the UK for its projects should serve as a cautionary tale.

Pompeo said China has reportedly threatened to punish British bank The Hong Kong and Sanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) and to break commitments to build nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom unless London allows Huawei to build its 5G network.

Shenzhen-based Huawei is an extension of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state, he said. “The US stands with its allies and partners against the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive bullying tactics. The Chinese Communist Party’s browbeating of HSBC, in particular, should serve as a cautionary tale,” Pompeo said.

“Just last week, the bank’s Asia-Pacific CEO, Peter Wong, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, signed a petition supporting Beijing’s disastrous decision to destroy Hong Kong’s autonomy and to break commitments made in an UN-registered treaty,” Pompeo said.

That show of fealty seems to have earned HSBC little respect in Beijing, which continues to use the bank’s business in China as political leverage against London, he said.

Pompeo said that Beijing’s aggressive behavior shows why countries should avoid economic overreliance on China and should guard their critical infrastructure from Chinese Communist Party’s influence.

Australia, Denmark, and other free nations have recently faced pressure from Chinese Communist Party’s interests to bow to China’s political wishes.

“The United States stands ready to assist our friends in the UK with any needs they have, from building secure and reliable nuclear power plants to developing trusted 5G solutions that protect their citizens’ privacy. Free nations deal in true friendship and desire mutual prosperity, not political and corporate kowtows,” he said.

China is facing mounting criticism worldwide over a planned security law for Hong Kong, which would make it a crime to undermine Beijing’s authority.

On May 22, during a meeting of the National People’s Congress, China proposed the national security law for Hong Kong and on May 28, the National People’s Congress adopted this decision.

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