NEWSLETTER: UK Parliament Slams HSBC; Show Trial Starts for Hong Kong 47
The British All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Hong Kong released a report that slams HSBC, Standard Chartered, and British banks for freezing Hong Kong emigrants’ pensions. The Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong (CFHK) Foundation’s President, Mark Clifford, stated, “This is theft, pure and simple, with banks like HSBC robbing working families who want nothing more than a life of freedom.” The CFHK Foundation contributed to the APPG on Hong Kong’s banking report by highlighting the role of accounting firm BDO Global in the fallout over the shutdown of pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily. The CFHK Foundation President Mark Clifford told The Epoch Times, “The behaviour of British banks is cruel towards the people who have left Hong Kong and simply want to start a new life." The CFHK Foundation called out the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Hong Kong authorities’ sham political trial against forty-seven pro-democracy Hong Kongers, the Hong Kong 47. “Hong Kong authorities and the CCP continue to violate international legal norms and should be held to account. I call on parliamentarians to take note and act accordingly,” said Baroness Helena Kennedy. Olivia Enos, the CFHK Foundation’s Washington Director, wrote in Forbes about how the global community should respond to the trial of the Hong Kong 47. Mrs Enos urged the international community to stand in solidarity with the individuals who are wrongfully imprisoned and to defend those who are unlawfully on trial in Hong Kong. Megan Khoo, the CFHK Foundation’s Communications Manager, spoke with Julia-Hartley Brewer on TalkTV about the CCP’s spy balloon that was spotted over the US. “It doesn’t take a balloon to see the CCP’s infiltration over the US and UK. It is preposterous that James Cleverly and Rishi Sunak have not spoken out about this at all,” declared Ms Khoo. The CFHK Foundation’s Policy and Advocacy Coordinator, Frances Hui, interviewed the CFHK Foundation’s President, Mark Clifford, on The Points Media about the importance of keeping the spirit of Hong Kong’s journalism alive throughout the world. The CFHK Foundation’s Communications Manager, Megan Khoo, urged the world to not turn a blind eye to the CCP’s ‘Hello Hong Kong’ campaign on the CFHK Foundation’s new blog. Ms Khoo wrote, “Hello Hong Kong, where the rule of law is being dismantled. Hello Hong Kong, where the independence of the judiciary is under attack. Hello Hong Kong, where freedom is dying.”
There is suspicion that some individuals are being paid by the CCP to witness the trial of the Hong Kong 47 as several people are leaving the hearings before they begin, reported the Hong Kong Free Press. Hong Kong Watch’s Co-Founder and Chief Executive, Benedict Rogers, analysed how the trial of the Hong Kong 47 points to Beijing’s increasing use and abuse of the National Security Law. “The world’s media must cover this trial from start to finish, and ensure that the eyes of the world remain on the 47,” wrote Mr Rogers in the Union of Catholic Asian News. The New York Times featured an article on how the National Security Law has transformed Hong Kong’s way of life. The international community should take a stand against the “vaguely worded and broad in scope” National Security Law as well as the Hong Kong 47’s charge for “government subversion”. The Hong Kong government has allegedly made illicit changes to Halo Fund Limited’s submission to a United Nations body on human rights, according to the Hong Kong Free Press. Disney Plus has censored an episode of The Simpsons that refers to the CCP’s labour camps in Xinjiang, according to The Guardian.
The British Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Education, Claire Coutinho MP, responded to Tim Loughton MP and Alyn Smith MP’s questions on Confucius Institutes with the same copy-and-paste answer. This exposes the UK government’s lack of concern regarding the CCP’s threat to British universities. Alicia Kearns MP, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, urged TikTok users to delete TikTok to protect their personal data on Good Morning Britain. We must take seriously the CCP’s efforts to frame public debate and gather data from TikTok.
North America-China Relations
Senator Jim Risch called out the CCP’s “sham” trial against the Hong Kong 47, reported the Hong Kong Free Press. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee tweeted, “This charade illustrates #China’s destruction of the rule of law and how afraid it is of different opinions. The U.S. will continue to support these freedom fighters.” The BBC reported that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken denounced the presence of the CCP’s spy balloon as an “irresponsible act”. The U.S. Department of Defense shot down the CCP’s spy balloon that was looming over US territory. During the State of the Union address, President Joe Biden promised to safeguard the US from the CCP’s latest spy efforts. He also highlighted the decline of autocracies around the world, reported Bloomberg. The Canadian government extended and expanded their open work permit for Hong Kongers until February 2025. This is exciting news that will allow Hong Kongers to continue to legally settle in Canada.