Where China Rules and the U.S. Dollar Reigns

The Biden administration’s business advisory on Hong Kong has generated more heat and light than appears justified by its contents, according to a Bloomberg Opinion. The fireworks may be a sign that the U.S. and China are content to let hostilities play out as diplomatic theater, and are reluctant to raise confrontation to a level that would meaningfully challenge the functioning of a key global financial center. The nine-page statement mostly reiterates facts that are known: China’s legislature unilaterally imposed a national security law on Hong Kong last year; the law has significantly reduced rights and freedoms; and risks have risen for businesses and individuals, spanning areas including data privacy, transparency and access to information. It nevertheless provoked a fierce reaction from the Hong Kong government. “The U.S. administration’s latest attempt to issue a so-called ‘advisory’ to U.S. businesses and individuals operating in Hong Kong based on totally ridiculous and unfounded fear-mongering about the situation in Hong Kong only serves to prove yet again its hypocrisy and double standards, driven by ideological hegemony,” an unidentified spokesman said in a release, employing rhetoric that has long been standard in China’s Communist state media but which was largely unknown in Hong Kong until enactment of the security law. The Chinese government called the advisory “pure nonsense.” The U.S. statement also drew some barely concealed irritation from the American business community in Hong Kong. Read more.