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HK supports central govt's countermeasures against Pelosi's visit; sanctions may cause 'substantial financial loss if economic connection is cut off'

《环球时报》 2022-08-06

Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government said on Friday that it fully supports and coordinates withall necessary measures taken by the central governmentin response to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's highly provocative visit to China's Taiwan island, including sanctions against Pelosi and her immediate family, which experts said may cause substantial economic loss for them.

The SAR Government will resolutely safeguard national sovereignty and territorial integrity, closely monitor the development of the situation and maintain contact with relevant departments of the central government, it said.

China on Friday announced to sanction Pelosi and her immediate family members as she insisted on visiting Taiwan in disregard of China's serious concerns and firm opposition, making her the highest-ranking US politician sanctioned by China. The country also announced eight countermeasures to the US, including canceling China-US defense policy coordination talks and suspending cooperation on climate change.

Despite a long-time tough political stance on China, Pelosi and her family reportedly have been benefiting from investments in companies with close ties with China.

According to Pelosi's financial disclosure filing last year, her husband Paul Pelosi Sr had assets of between $50,000 and $100,000 in a San Francisco-based financial firm called Matthews International Mutual Fund which is active in Asia, including Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland, reported the South China Morning Post.

Pelosi's family has had millions of dollars on the line when it comes to China, US writer Peter Schweizer revealed in his book, Breitbart reported, and Pelosi's husband was also involved with multiple limousine services, including one that catered to the 2008 summer Olympics in Beijing, the report noted.

Pelosi's son, Paul Pelosi Jr, also sought business opportunities in China via two companies, International Media Acquisition Corp and Global Tech Industries Group, according to the report.

Experts said the sanctions might lead to some substantial financial loss to Pelosi and her family if their direct and indirect economic connection with China is cut off.

The sanctions would come as a severe punishment for them considering US politicians usually make economic profits a major goal of their political career either in or out of office, Wu Xinbo, dean of the Institute of International Studies at Fudan University, told the Global Times on Saturday.

US companies usually tend to hire retired politicians in position as high as Pelosi's as board members or consultants. But after China's sanctions, big companies that have business in China or seek to do business with China in the future would back off from having connections with Pelosi and her family, which also makes it a great potential economic loss for them, said Wu.

Such sanctions are a necessary and a justified response from China that highlighted the consequences of Pelosi's visit to Taiwan, which seriously crossed China's red line over the Taiwan question, he added.

The Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) conducted large-scale live-fire military drills around the island of Taiwan starting from Thursdayafter Pelosi's visit to the island Tuesday night.

Experts also noted that China's sanctions on Pelosi and a series of countermeasures also aim to deter countries and politicians in other countries who are mulling a visit to the island of Taiwan that tramples on China's core interest in following Pelosi's suit. The impact of China's sanctions on foreign politicians will continue to increase as the scale and openness of China's economy continue to expand.

China sanctioned 28 anti-China politiciansunder the former president Donald Trump in January, 2021. These individuals and their immediate family members were prohibited from entering the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China. Companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China.

China's Xinhua News Agency said Pelosi has had six deadly sins with her Taiwan visit -- she betrayed the three Joint Communiqués with China over the Taiwan question, seriously violated the one-China principle, destroyed the peace and stability across the Taiwan Straits, interfered in China's internal affairs, undermined China's sovereignty under the guise of democracy and sought to leave a so-called political legacy before she leaves the office.

In particular, with the US mid-term elections approaching and the Democratic Party struggling with plunging support, Pelosi is trying to gain political points for herself by playing the Taiwan card. But these achievements will only be personal, symbolic and short-term, while the serious consequences and impact of regional security tensions are long-term, and the damage to China-US relations is far-reaching, said Xinhua.