Government challenged over the freezing of church bank accounts in Hong Kong by HSBC
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, has provided the following answer to your written parliamentary question (HL11264):
To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that HSBC has frozen the bank accounts of (1) the Good Neighbourhood North District Church in Hong Kong, and (2) its pastor and his wife; and what assessment they have made of whether such action has been taken because of that Church’s links with pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong. (HL11264)
Tabled on: 09 December 2020
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon:
We are in close contact with a wide range of businesses in Hong Kong, but it is for businesses themselves to make their own judgement calls. We are concerned that a number of recent decisions by the authorities in Hong Kong are further evidence of a determined campaign to stifle opposition and silence dissent. As a signatory to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, China must abide by the legally binding commitments it made to uphold fundamental rights and freedoms, and respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy for at least 50 years from 1997. The UK will continue to pursue an approach in Hong Kong that is rooted in our values, defends the rights of the people of Hong Kong and respects the provisions of the Joint Declaration.
Date and time of answer: 23 Dec 2020 at 16:24.