China's national security law to cost Hong Kong its financial hub tag

Hong Kong, June 28 (ANI): With China pushing ahead with the implementation of the national security law on the Hong Kong and residents fighting it "tooth and nail", it is speculated that HK will soon lose its attractiveness as the most sought after financial destination.

According to a report in The South China Morning Post, the foreign firms in Hong Kong have already started looking out for options in other Asian countries as they fear the national security law will end the city's autonomy and freedom, which have been crucial to the city becoming a financial hub.

Though Beijing has claimed that the security law is only aimed at restoring stability in the city, the foreign firms understand that the law might restrict the free flow of information, thus, affecting their ability to woo talent.

Earlier this month, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had said that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has called for the government to "take advantage of being a safe business location, which is supported by solid democracy and the rule of law".

Similarly, South Korea's financial regulator, the Financial Services Commission, announced a new set of proposals calling for regulatory reforms to promote private sector innovation, infrastructure "on a par with global standards" and administrative support for fledgling financial hubs in Seoul's Yeoido district and Busan's Moonhyun district.

City-wide protests have been taking place sporadically in Hong Kong since June 2019, with protesters claiming to oppose China's increasing influence on the special administrative region.

The latest wave of protests was caused by a security bill specially tailored by Beijing for Hong Kong.

The security legislation, which bans secessionist activities, among other things, is seen by Hong Kong residents as undermining their liberties. However, both Hong Kong's leadership and the central government say the bill would not affect the legitimate rights of the residents. Beijing maintains that the unrest in Hong Kong is a result of international interference and vows to respect the "one country, two systems" principle. (ANI)