The Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit (GFLIS) on November 1 to 3 will take place against a backdrop of society-wide, systematic human rights abuses by the Hong Kong government and the stripping of Hong Kong’s autonomy by the Chinese Communist Party. In the past three years, freedom of expression has been greatly restricted, with many types of speech criminalized and prosecuted. Freedom of assembly has likewise suffered, with all protests banned and the right to assembly indefinitely suspended. Freedom of association has been sharply curtailed, with dozens of organizations, trade unions, student organizations, human rights groups, independent media, and many of Hong Kong’s biggest and oldest nonprofits–forced to close.
The erosion of Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy have damaged the city’s status as a global financial center. In order to salvage the city’s plummeting reputation, the Hong Kong government is using the summit as part of a campaign to rebuild Hong Kong’s image by announcing to the rest of the world that Hong Kong is “back in business.” Global finance leaders’ attendance at the GFLIS is being used by the Hong Kong government to legitimize its authoritarian rule; in fact, HKMA asserts that the global finance leaders who will attend are “staunch supporters of Hong Kong.”
By attending the GFLIS, these global finance leaders are lending credibility not only to the government’s whitewashing campaign, but also to Beijing’s handpicked Chief Executive of Hong Kong, John Lee, who is scheduled to open the GFLIS with “welcoming remarks.”
BAD ACTORS IN HONG KONG,
2019 TO 2022
Financial Institutions speaking at
Global Financial Leaders’ Investment Summit