Mike Pompeo criticises HSBC for 'corporate kowtow' to Beijing

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Jun 10, 2020, 04:24 PM(IST)

File photo: US State Secretary Mike Pompeo Photograph:( Reuters )

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"The United States stands with our allies and partners against the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive bullying tactics," Pompeo said in a statement, his latest swipe at China's ruling party.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday criticised British bank HSBC for supporting China's move to end Hong Kong's autonomy, saying such "corporate kowtows" got little in return from Beijing.

Pompeo said the United States was ready to assist Britain with alternatives after Beijing reportedly threatened to punish HSBC and break commitments to build nuclear power plants in the country unless the British government allowed China's Huawei Technologies to participate in building a 5G network.

Also read: China has no legal authority to enact security law for Hong Kong: Bar Association

"The United States stands with our allies and partners against the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive bullying tactics," Pompeo said in a statement, his latest swipe at China's ruling party.

Pompeo referred to HSBC's Asia-Pacific CEO, Peter Wong, signing a petition supporting Beijing’s plans to impose new security legislation on Hong Kong. He said the "browbeating" of HSBC by China's communist leadership "should serve as a cautionary tale".

"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.

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Sino-US ties have deteriorated rapidly since the start of the year over the coronavirus pandemic and Hong Kong. Washington sees Huawei as an extension of the Chinese government and urges European allies to exclude it from mobile networks.

Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper reported on Saturday that HSBC Chairman Mark Tucker had warned Britain against a ban on networking equipment made by Huawei, claiming the bank could face reprisals in China.

Senior British and US politicians criticized HSBC and Standard Chartered last week after they both backed the national security law for Hong Kong.

(With inputs from Reuters) 

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