US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has stepped up his attack on HSBC, accusing the UK lender of caving to Chinese pressure to block pro-democracy Hong Kong media executives from accessing their money while maintaining accounts for Chinese officials under US sanctions, reported the Financial Times.
America’s top diplomat said on Wednesday he was “dismayed” that the Chinese Communist party’s “coercive bullying tactics against our friends in the United Kingdom continues”.
He said “free nations must ensure that corporate interests are not suborned by the CCP to aid its political repression”.
The latest public attack on HSBC piles pressure on the sprawling 155-year-old bank, which is walking an increasingly perilous geopolitical tightrope between China and the west.
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