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面对《逃犯条例》,香港商界的沉默与担忧
As Protesters Fill Hong Kong’s Streets, Businesses Are Alarmed, Too

来源:纽约时报    2019-06-13 10:56



        HONG KONG — As tens of thousands of protesters returned to Hong Kong’s streets on Wednesday to speak out against a proposed law that would allow extraditions to mainland China, one prominent voice has been largely silent: big business.        香港——随着数万名抗议者周三重返香港街头,抗议允许把逃犯引渡到中国大陆的《逃犯条例》修订案,有一个重要的声音在很大程度上一直是缺失的:大企业。
        But quietly, a wave of concern has spread through the community of foreign consultants, investors and executives who depend on Hong Kong as a safe base from which to do business in China.        但是,在把香港作为在中国开展业务的安全基地的外国咨询师、投资者和高管圈子里,担忧已在静悄悄地蔓延开来。
        No major company dares to speak out publicly for fear of angering the Chinese government. Behind the scenes, they are grappling with difficult questions about whether the legislation would endanger foreign executives or undermine the city’s legal system, a preferred venue for resolving disputes over the mainland’s Communist Party-controlled courts.        由于担心激怒中国政府,没有一家大公司敢公开发声。私下里,他们正在努力搞清楚一些棘手的问题:这项立法是否会危及外国高管?是否会损害香港的司法体系?香港的司法体系一直是解决纠纷的首选,因为大陆的法院由中国共产党控制。
        “The business and financial community is deeply concerned about what this may augur for Hong Kong,” said Fred Hu, founder of the investment firm Primavera Capital Group and former head of Goldman Sachs’s Greater China business.        “工商界和金融界对这可能给香港带来的预兆深感担忧,”投资公司春华资本集团(Primavera Capital Group)创始人胡祖六说,他曾任高盛(Goldman Sachs)的大中国区主管。
        “Any perceived erosion of independent judiciary and individual freedom could undermine investor confidence and negatively affect Hong Kong’s future as a leading global business and financial center,” Mr. Hu said.        “任何被视为是对独立司法和个人自由的侵蚀,都可能削弱投资者的信心,对香港作为一个全球主要商业和金融中心的未来产生负面影响,”胡祖六说。
        The law could broadly threaten Hong Kong’s place as a middle ground between China and the business world. As the protests gathered steam in Hong Kong on Wednesday, Nancy Pelosi, speaker of the United States House of Representatives, issued a statement questioning whether Washington should reconsider a law that exempts Hong Kong from some of the trade and technology limits it imposes on the rest of China.        修订《逃犯条例》也许会广泛地威胁到香港作为中国与商界中间地带的地位。随着抗议活动周三在香港进一步升级,美国众议院议长南希·佩洛西(Nancy Pelosi)发表声明,提出了华盛顿是否应该重新考虑一项让香港免受其对中国其他地区的某些贸易和技术限制的法律。
        “Congress has no choice but to reassess whether Hong Kong is ‘sufficiently autonomous’ under ‘one country, two systems’ framework” if the government passes the bill, she said, referring to the arrangement that allows the Chinese city to function under its own laws.        佩洛西说,如果香港政府让《逃犯条例》修订获得通过的话,“国会除了重新评估香港是否在‘一国两制’框架下‘足够自治’,别无选择。”她指的是允许这座中国城市根据自己的法律进行运作的安排。
        Hong Kong’s stock market fell 1.7 percent on Wednesday in an otherwise quiet trading day in Asia, as protesters filled up a main transportation artery where multinational companies and international banks occupy much of the gleaming skyscraper real estate. The police used tear gas on protesters Wednesday afternoon on the same streets and sidewalks that bankers and lawyers for some of the world’s biggest companies travel on their daily commutes. Employees at major banks like HSBC and accounting firms like Deloitte were told to work from home in anticipation of grinding traffic and concerns about safety.        香港股市周三下跌了1.7%,虽然对亚洲的其他股市来说,这天是个平静的交易日。抗议者占据了香港的一些主要交通要道,这些道路两旁闪闪发光的摩天大楼里主要是跨国公司和国际银行。周三下午,警察对街头和人行道上的抗议者使用了催泪瓦斯,这些正是世界上一些最大公司的银行家和律师们每天上下班的途经之处。汇丰银行(HSBC)和德勤(Deloitte)等大型银行和会计师事务所,出于对交通拥堵和员工安全的担心,通知员工在家中上班。
        There were signs on Wednesday that tensions in Hong Kong were already undermining business confidence. A Hong Kong property developer called Goldin Financial Holdings cited “recent social contradiction and economic instability” for its decision this week to walk away from its $1.4 billion bid for a plot of land at the city’s former Kai Tak airport. It did not detail its concerns.        周三有迹象显示,香港的紧张局势已经在削弱商业信心。一家名为高银金融集团(Goldin Financial Holdings)的香港房地产开发商本周决定,放弃出价14亿美元购买前启德机场一块土地的决定,理由是“近期的社会矛盾和经济不稳定”。高银金融没有对其担忧做出详细的说明。
        For big business, Hong Kong was supposed to be safer than this.        对于大企业来说,香港本应是个更安全的地方。
        When the British handed over Hong Kong, a former colony, to China in 1997 under the policy of “one country, two systems,” there was a promise that the territory would continue to operate under relative autonomy. Though Beijing effectively controls the system by which Hong Kong picks its top leaders, the city enjoys wide freedoms of speech and of the press. The government takes a light hand compared with the mainland when it comes to business regulation, and its courts are considered independent and well run.        英国在1997年将前殖民地香港归还中国时,曾在“一国两制”政策下得到一个承诺,即香港会在相对自治的情况下继续运行。尽管北京实际上控制着香港挑选最高领导人的机制,但这里享有广泛的言论和新闻自由。与内地相比,香港政府对工商业的监管较为宽松,香港的法院被认为是独立的,且运行良好。
        For decades, major companies parked their Chinese or Asian headquarters in Hong Kong, making the city a major nexus of finance and commerce, though some of that power has ebbed as China grew wealthy in its own right and more companies began to deal with that market directly.        几十年来,大公司将它们的中国或亚洲总部设在了香港,使这里成为重要的金融和商业枢纽。不过,随着中国自身变得富有,越来越多的公司开始直接与这个市场打交道,香港以前的作用已有所减弱。
        Still, unease has grown in recent months.        尽管如此,不安情绪近几个月来仍在加剧。
        Last year, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said that over half of its respondents were concerned about the rule of law. Business leaders cited a move by the Hong Kong government to reject a standard request by a journalist to renew his work visa last year as a major setback for Hong Kong’s independence. While the city government declined to disclose a reason, it appeared to be in response to the journalist hosting a talk with Andy Chan, the leader of a small political party that calls on Hong Kong to secede from China.        香港美国商会(American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong)去年表示,超过半数的受访者对香港的法治感到担忧。工商界领袖以香港政府去年拒绝了一名记者续签工作签证的正常要求为例,称那是香港的独立性遭受的一个重大挫折。虽然香港政府拒绝透露原因,但其做法似乎与该记者主持了一次对陈浩天(Andy Chan)的访谈有关,他是一个呼吁香港脱离中国的小政党的领导人。
        The trade war between the United States and China also threatens to make Hong Kong a bargaining chip. On Monday, a State Department spokeswoman said that “the continued erosion of the ‘one country, two systems’ framework puts at risk Hong Kong’s long-established special status in international affairs.”        美中之间的贸易战也对香港构成威胁,使其可能成为谈判的筹码。美国国务院发言人周一说,“‘一国两制’框架的不断削弱,让香港长期以来在国际事务中的特殊地位受到威胁。”
        “The extradition bill is worrying because for business it starts to call into question whether there is now a blurred line between politics and business in a city that views itself as a commercial capital that puts business first,” said Tara Joseph, the president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong.        “修订《逃犯条例》令人担忧,因为从商业的角度来看,这开始让人们怀疑,在一个把自己视为商业之都、把商业放在第一位的城市,政治和商业之间的界限现已变得模糊,”香港美国商会会长早泰娜(Tara Joseph)说。
        Yet even as American companies, sometimes privately, have expressed increasing concern about the bill, it was too early to say whether they would pull out of Hong Kong and move operations elsewhere. “People are talking about what this bill could mean and what their possible alternatives could be, but there are no immediate answers,” Ms. Joseph said.        然而,尽管美国企业(有时是私下里)对修订《逃犯条例》表示了越来越多的担忧,但要说它们是否会撤出香港、将业务转移到其他地方,现在还为时尚早。“人们在讨论修例可能意味着什么,以及他们可能的替代方案是什么,这些都没有立刻的答案,”早泰娜说。
        One fear among businesses is that the United States could begin treating Hong Kong as if it were just another Chinese city. Under a 1992 law called the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act, the city enjoys special treatment for customs and commercial purposes. Changing or eliminating that law could crimp Hong Kong’s status as a business crossroads.        工商界的一个担忧是,美国可能会开始把香港当作另一个中国城市来对待。根据1992年颁布的《美国—香港政策法》(United States-Hong Kong Policy Act),香港在海关和商业方面享有特殊待遇。修改或取消该法可能会损害香港作为商业枢纽的地位。
        In recent days, as the front pages of American newspapers displayed images of the protests, lawmakers in Washington have taken greater interest in the territory both publicly and in private meetings, according to two people with direct knowledge of these meetings but not authorized to speak publicly.        最近几天,随着美国报纸的头版刊登抗议活动的图片,据两名未获授权公开发言的知情人士表示,华盛顿的议员们在公开和私下场合对香港表现出了更大的兴趣。
        Many have cited the most recent Hong Kong Policy Act Report by the State Department in March that reported an increased “tempo of mainland central government intervention in Hong Kong affairs — and actions by the Hong Kong government consistent with mainland direction.” Despite this, the report concluded that Hong Kong continued to have a sufficient degree of autonomy.        许多人提到美国国务院3月份发布的《香港政策法报告》(Hong Kong Policy Act Report),该报告注意到“大陆中央政府干预香港事务的速度(加快了),而且,香港政府的行为与大陆的指示相符”。尽管如此,报告的结论是,香港仍然拥有足够程度的自治。
        Unlike big companies, many small businesses in Hong Kong have been outspoken against the legislation, worrying that it could permanently damage Hong Kong’s economy. More than a thousand of them closed on Wednesday in solidarity with the protesters. The city’s historically weak labor groups asked workers to call in sick.        与大企业不同,香港的许多小公司一直在直言不讳地反对修订《逃犯条例》,担心修例可能会给香港经济带来永久性的损害。为了声援抗议者,1000多家小公司周三休业了。历史上并不强大的香港劳工组织呼吁工人周三请病假。
        On Instagram, hundreds of coffee shops, restaurants and other businesses posted pictures with the hashtag “#612strike.” One online floral company called Floraholic wrote, “Hong Kong is sick, let’s take a day off for some rest!”        在Instagram上,数百家咖啡馆、餐馆和其他公司发布了带有“6月12日休业”(#612strike)标签的照片。一家名为Floraholic的网络花卉公司写道:“香港病了,让我们休息一天吧!”
        “Striking is the only action we could take,” said Yanki Lam, co-owner of a company called Changchang Goodstore in the city’s Kowloon district.        “休业是我们唯一能做的事情,”香港九龙区一家名为“常常集品”(Changchang Goodstore)小店的联合店主林燕琪(Yanki Lam,音)说。
        The Eaton Hong Kong, a hotel and co-working space, said it would allow its employees to attend the protests on Wednesday, saying that “we respect our team members’ political stances.”        香港逸东(Eaton Hong Kong)是一家共享工作空间酒店,该店表示会允许员工参加周三的抗议活动,并说“我们尊重我们团队成员的政治立场”。
        Yet even with this growing sense of concern, foreign businesses that speak out could face retribution from the Chinese government.        然而,即使在担忧日益加剧的情况下,站出来公开表态的外国企业也可能面临中国政府的报复。
        “It’s almost impossible for foreign companies to do business in China without the approval of the mainland government. Quite rationally, they don’t want to stick their heads above the parapet,” said David Webb, a former banker and the publisher of the financial and corporate governance website Webb-site.        “没有大陆政府的批准,外国公司几乎不可能在中国做生意。他们不想贸然出头是相当理性的,”前银行家戴维·韦布(David Webb)说,他现在是金融和企业治理网站Webb-site的出版人。
        There is also a sense of resignation from big companies that rejecting the extradition legislation will do little to address a bigger problem of China’s growing reach into the city, Mr. Webb said.        大公司也有一种无能为力的感觉,它们认为反对修订《逃犯条例》无助于解决中国的手在香港正越伸越长这个更大的问题,韦布说。
        “No amount of padding around the extradition treaty is going to fix that,” he said.        “对修例发表多少看法都无法解决这个问题,”他说。
                
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