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Former HK leader lashes out at HSBC over security law

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Hong Kong's former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying lambasted HSBC Holdings over not publicly voicing its support for China's plan to enact national security legislation in the city.

[HONG KONG] Hong Kong's former Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying lambasted HSBC Holdings over not publicly voicing its support for China's plan to enact national security legislation in the city.

The public should pay close attention to the Asia-focused bank's attitude on the law since HSBC has yet to express its stance after more than a week, Mr Leung said in a Facebook post Friday. The London-based lender gets about one third of its global revenue from Hong Kong, which is its biggest single contributor.

"Over political issues, the self-proclaimed British bank can't make money from China while following western countries to do things that damage China's sovereignty, dignity, and people's feelings," said Mr Leung, who is a vice chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference. "We have to let the UK government, politicians and British firms such as HSBC know which side of the bread is buttered."

An HSBC spokeswoman declined to comment.

Mr Leung called on business people from the mainland and Hong Kong, members of the National People's Congress and CPPCC delegates who hold accounts at HSBC to take immediate action to protect themselves.

"Neither China nor Hong Kong owes HSBC," Mr Leung said. "HSBC's China business can be replaced by banks from China or other countries overnight."

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warned Thursday the government will open a path to citizenship for 300,000 Hong Kong residents unless China backs down on its planned security laws.

Mr Leung stepped down in 2017 after deciding not to seek a second term, citing family reasons.

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