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Sunday, January 05, 2020, 21:20
Finance chief: Violence dents Hong Kong's global image
By Xinhua
Sunday, January 05, 2020, 21:20 By Xinhua

In this Oct 18, 2018 photo, a man uses his tablet as he sits in Tamar Park, with a view of the skyline behind him during the early evening in Hong Kong. (WALLACE / AFP)

HONG KONG – Prolonged social unrest and violence have jeopardized Hong Kong Special Administrative Region’s global image and competitiveness, the city’s financial secretary said on Sunday.

Hong Kong's rating in various areas from security to business environment in international rankings will see the negative influence this year, Paul Chan Mo-po said in an online article.

If the situation continues, Hong Kong will lose not only incomes but also job opportunities, Paul Chan warned

The repeated violent acts including arson, criminal damage and attacks on innocent people have deprived Hong Kong residents of the sense of security they once enjoyed and have deterred many international investors and tourists from coming, he said, citing a 40-50 percent drop in visitors to the city during the past few months.

Rioters also frequently disrupted traffic, blocked roads, set fires to metro stations and besieged the airport, even seriously hurt people, which harmed the city’s reputation as a reliable aviation hub and dented the confidence of foreign businesses in Hong Kong, Chan said. 

READ MORE: HK to see first budget deficit in 15 years, Paul Chan says

Some international conferences usually held in Hong Kong went to other places last year, he added.

If the situation continues, Hong Kong will lose not only incomes but also job opportunities, he added.

The violent acts that targeted shops and judicial organs, and personal threats against specific judges also challenged Hong Kong's core value and the rule of law, said the finance chief.

ALSO READ: Prolonged unrest undermining investor faith, says finance chief

Hong Kong's economic development and global achievements are built by generations of hard work, continued violence will destroy all the efforts, aggravating the already declining economy, and reducing the fiscal revenue of the HKSAR government, in the end vulnerable groups will suffer the most, he said.

He called on the whole society to disassociate with violence and treasure the home of Hong Kong.

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