Chairs’ Statement on US Financial Firms Attending the Hong Kong Investment Summit

(Washington)—Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Jim McGovern, Chair and Cochair respectively, of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China issued the follow statement on the scheduled participation of the heads of U.S. financial firms such as Goldman Sachs, Blackrock, Citigroup, and Morgan Stanley in a Hong Kong investment summit alongside sanctioned Chief Executive John Lee in early November 2022.

"We hope that these American financial firm leaders will reconsider their decision to attend the Hong Kong investment summit. Their presence only serves to legitimize the swift dismantling of Hong Kong’s autonomy, free press, and the rule of law by Hong Kong authorities acting along with the Chinese Communist Party. Their attendance has the effect of whitewashing the human rights violations of the Hong Kong government and giving political cover to Chief Executive Lee, who has been sanctioned by the United States and refused to fully cooperate with U.S. sanctions on Russian assets in Hong Kong.  Business as usual in Hong Kong is the wrong choice for these companies. Their participation makes them complicit not only in human rights abuses in Hong Kong but also in the Chinese government’s efforts, as described by the Biden Administration’s National Security Strategy, at “actively undermining the democratic political processes of other countries and exporting an illiberal model of international order.” 

It will certainly be a pertinent congressional concern if expanded investments in authoritarian governments undermine U.S. national interests and accelerate efforts to crush Hong Kong’s autonomy and the freedoms of its residents.”