Hong Kong

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:04 pm on 18th June 2019.

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Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Minister of State 2:04 pm, 18th June 2019

I very much agree. I thank the hon. Gentleman, and indeed the SNP, for their very constructive views on this matter. It is very powerful that the House holds together on this issue. Of course there will be times when we have disagreements on the way in which we go about this, or other bits of business, but I think we are sending a very powerful message to our friends in Hong Kong, but also to the Chinese Government, about the unity of minds on this. Yes, we will very much stand up for the idea of the rule of law. That is vital for the success not just of Hong Kong but of China.

Let me turn to the economic dialogue. As I think hon. Members will understand, these things are organised many months in advance, and it is a coincidence that at the height of the Hong Kong crisis we were having an international economic dialogue here in London. One of the cases we made very robustly was about the importance for China of Hong Kong as a financial, and indeed professional, services centre reliant on a rules-based system but also on a UK legal system. That has provided much confidence for external investors. Without Hong Kong, the ambitions that China has for the belt and road initiative, and other bits of its infrastructure planning for the future, will be much more difficult to achieve. That is very much the case that we make to our Chinese counterparts—that having this special status for Hong Kong is in China’s interests as much as Hong Kong’s.