U.S. President Joe Biden will warn U.S. companies this week about the growing risks of doing business in Hong Kong and the possibility of sanctions, according to people familiar with the matter, the Financial Times reported Tuesday (13), marking the first time the U.S. government has issued a business warning related to Hong Kong.
The risks include China’s ability to access data stored by foreign companies in Hong Kong; and the Chinese authorities’ newly implemented Anti-Foreign Sanctions Act, which allows them to impose penalties on any foreign agency that imposes sanctions on Chinese companies or officials.
One of the sources familiar with the matter revealed that Biden may impose additional sanctions on Chinese officials in Hong Kong, a decision related to recent events, including the forced closure of the Apple Daily.
Separately, the report also said the White House is considering allowing Hong Kong residents facing potential political persecution to stay in the United States after their visas expire, but the policy is still being negotiated and is not expected to be one of the actions announced this week.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian countered on the same day that the Hong Kong Basic Law and related laws protect the interests of foreign investors and oppose the U.S. using Hong Kong as an excuse to interfere in China’s internal affairs.
Separately, Biden earlier extended for one year an executive order by former U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to sanction Hong Kong officials.