The US government is preparing to warn American companies about the risks of doing business in Hong Kong.
US President Joe Biden on Thursday confirmed reports in various media outlets this week that his administration plans to soon issue an advisory to companies that will caution them of a “deteriorating” situation in the Chinese territory. “The situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating, and the Chinese government is not keeping its commitment that it made, how it would deal with Hong Kong,” Biden told reporters at the White House on Thursday, referencing Beijing’s pledge to maintain the city’s semi-autonomous status for 50 years after its 1997 handover from Britain.
Biden described the announcement as “more of an advisory as to what may happen with Hong Kong,” without divulging more details, and experts believe it won’t go much beyond flagging the rising risks. This won’t be the first time that Washington is urging caution about Hong Kong, which has undergone significant change since pro-democracy, anti-government protests roiled the city in 2019. China cracked down on Hong Kong last year by implementing a sweeping national security law that signaled Beijing is taking ever tighter control. The law raised questions about the city’s future as an international business center.
Following the passage of that law, former President Donald Trump revoked the United States’ special relationship with Hong Kong, which has in the past exempted the city from certain tariffs, among other privileges. The US government also sanctioned several officials last year, including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who later said she was forced to stockpile cash because the restrictions cut her off from the global banking system. (Reuters reported Thursday that Washington is preparing to impose financial sanctions on “a number of Chinese officials” over Hong Kong, citing two anonymous sources. CNN Business has reached out to the US State Department for comment.)