UK Trade minister visits Hong Kong

Dominic Johnson, the first British minister to visit Hong Kong in five years, has pledged that the UK will not shirk its “historic responsibilities” to the people of the city, while working with China where they share common interests. Writing in the South China Morning Post, the minister of state in the Department for Business and Trade stated that Britain will be “clear” about its right to act when China breaches international commitments or human rights. Johnson’s visit comes as tensions between Hong Kong and Britain have grown after Beijing introduced a national security law last year, which the UK labelled as “a clear breach” of the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984.

During his visit this week, Johnson met with leading investors and government officials in the city. He tweeted that he had talked with Christopher Hui, Hong Kong’s secretary for financial services and the Treasury, about removing market barriers and increasing trade. He also discussed investment plans in the UK with CK Hutchison chairman Victor Li.

Johnson’s visit includes a meeting with Hong Kong Commerce Minister Algernon Yau, a lunch with members of the British Chamber of Commerce, and a visit to the local tech hub, Cyberport. He hopes to promote the UK as a leading destination for investment and trade, and to foster investment ties between the two sides.

Since the introduction of the security law in 2020, more than 105,000 Hong Kong residents have relocated to the UK using a special visa, which allows them to live and work in the country and apply for British citizenship after six years. The British consulate in Hong Kong said Johnson’s visit would enable him to re-engage in dialogue on trade and investment, clean growth, and future bilateral visits. The visit also aims to promote collaboration between Hong Kong and the UK following the Covid-19 pandemic and the imposition of the security law.

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