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China Releases "Fact Sheet" on U.S.' Interference in Hong Kong

September 28, 2021

On September 24, 2021, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs ("MFA") released the Fact Sheet: U.S. Interference in Hong Kong Affairs and Support for Anti-China, Destabilizing Forces ("Fact Sheet") which sets out a comprehensive chronological list of events detailing the United States' interference in Hong Kong. Click here to read the official translation of the full Fact Sheet. 

Overview of the Fact Sheet

The Fact Sheet lists 102 "examples" of activities that are considered as "interference" in Hong Kong. These "examples" are divided into the following five categories: 

(1) Enacting Hong Kong-related Acts, vilifying China's policy on Hong Kong, meddling in Hong Kong affairs, and wantonly interfering in China's internal affairs;

(2) Imposing sanctions in an attempt to obstruct the implementation in Hong Kong of the Hong Kong National Security Law and relevant decisions of China's National People's Congress;

(3) Making unfounded charges against HKSAR affairs and law enforcement actions taken by Hong Kong police in an attempt to undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability;

(4) Shielding and supporting those who are opposed to China and attempt to destabilize Hong Kong, providing platforms for them to advocate "Hong Kong independence" and spread political disinformation, and justifying the acts of those lawbreakers by twisting facts and misleading the public; and

(5) Colluding with some countries to exert pressure, and teaming up with allies to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and make irresponsible comments by such means as joint statements.

The Fact Sheet not only lists former U.S. officials such as Donald Trump, Mike Pompeo and Wilbur Ross, but also includes current officials such as Antony Blinken and Nancy Pelosi. In addition to activities of U.S. individuals or entities, certain U.S. allies such as UK, Australia and Canada are also criticized for their statements or activities related to Hong Kong.   

Our Observations

China passed the Anti-Foreign Sanction Law ("AFSL") on June 10, 2021. The AFSL authorizes China to: (1) take countermeasures against "discriminative restrictive measures" against China; and (2) sanction foreign countries, entities or individuals implementing or supporting activities that endanger China's sovereignty, national security or development interests.

The Fact Sheet itself is not a sanction list. However, given China considers the activities listed in the fact sheet as "interference" in China's internal affairs and endangering China's sovereignty, national security or development interests, it cannot be excluded that China may impose sanctions against these entities or individuals, especially when they are found to have any further actions that are considered as "interference" in Hong Kong. 

Companies not listed in the Fact sheet might also be exposed to China's sanctions if any of their activities are considered as "implementing" or "supporting" the interfering activities described in the fact sheet.  

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or would like to know more about the implications of the Fact Sheet or AFSL on your operations.

For more information, please contact the professional(s) listed below, or your regular Crowell & Moring contact.

Evan Y. Chuck
Partner – Los Angeles, Shanghai
Phone: +1.213.310.7999
Email: echuck@crowell.com
Zhiwei Chen
Associate – Shanghai
Phone: +86.21.8030.1688
Email: zchen@crowellmoring.asia