Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam stated Tuesday U.S. legislation supporting demonstrators might harm business confidence in the financial center, as she declared the fourth round of relief measures to boost the town’s jeopardized economy.
Lam said the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act signed into U.S. law last week was “wholly pointless,” as the former British colony struggles with its first recession in a decade.
The act requires the U.S. State Division to certify at least yearly that Hong Kong retains sufficient freedom to justify favorable U.S. trading terms, and warns penalties for human rights violations.
Lam didn’t specify what additional steps can be taken to boost financial activity, saying particulars would be declared in the near-interval. The federal government has previously offered relief of about HK$21 billion ($2.7 billion) to strengthen the economy, mainly the transport, tourism, and retail businesses.
The crisis has struck retail sales, which plummeted by their steepest on record in October as protests scared off tourists and struck spending.
In more bad news for the city, China on Monday banned U.S. military ships and planes from visiting Hong Kong – rest and recreation halt for the U.S. Seventh Fleet – in countering the U.S. legislation.
Lam said permissions for such port visits had been a matter for China’s Foreign Ministry.
Hong Kong has been shaken by six months of sometimes violent unrest in the biggest concern to Chinese stability since the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in and around Beijing’s Tiananmen Square in 1989.