U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesperson
For Immediate Release
STATEMENT BY SECRETARY MICHAEL R. POMPEO
June 9, 2020
On China’s Attempted Coercion of the United Kingdom
The United States stands with our allies and partners against the Chinese Communist Party’s coercive bullying tactics. In the latest example, Beijing has reportedly threatened to punish British bank HSBC and to break commitments to build nuclear power plants in the United Kingdom unless London allows Huawei to build its 5G network. Shenzhen-based Huawei is an extension of the Chinese Communist Party’s surveillance state.
The CCP’s browbeating of HSBC, in particular, should serve as a cautionary tale. Just last week, the bank’s Asia-Pacific CEO, Peter Wong, a member of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, signed a petition supporting Beijing’s disastrous decision to destroy Hong Kong’s autonomy and to break commitments made in an U.N.-registered treaty. That show of fealty seems to have earned HSBC little respect in Beijing, which continues to use the bank’s business in China as political leverage against London.
Beijing’s aggressive behavior shows why countries should avoid economic overreliance on China and should guard their critical infrastructure from CCP influence. Australia, Denmark, and other free nations have recently faced pressure from CCP interests to bow to China’s political wishes. The United States stands ready to assist our friends in the U.K. with any needs they have, from building secure and reliable nuclear power plants to developing trusted 5G solutions that protect their citizens’ privacy. Free nations deal in true friendship and desire mutual prosperity, not political and corporate kowtows.