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香港商业大亨为何在引渡法案争议中沉默等待
As Hong Kong Erupted Over Extradition Bill, City’s Tycoons Waited and Worried

来源:纽约时报    2019-06-21 03:39



        HONG KONG — Weeks before this semiautonomous city erupted in political chaos over a contentious extradition bill, more than 200 of its most powerful business leaders were summoned to the Chinese government’s headquarters here.        香港——在这个半自治城市因一项有争议的引渡法案爆发政治混乱数周前,200多名最有权势的商界领袖被召集到中国政府驻港总部开会。
        The message from Beijing: If you have worries about the bill, keep them to yourself.        来自北京的口信是:如果你对法案有顾虑,不要多话。
        And they did — until hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets. When the Chinese government appeared unsure how to react, and a later protest turned violent, business leaders were stirred into action. Deals were canceled. Money appeared to flee, raising concerns that Hong Kong could cede financial ground to Singapore. Within days, a handful of business leaders were publicly suggesting that the Hong Kong government should back down.        他们做到了——直到成千上万的抗议者走上街头。当中国政府似乎拿不定如何应对,且后来一次抗议演变成暴力冲突时,受到震动的商界领袖们开始采取行动。交易被取消。资金似乎在逃离,人们开始担心香港的金融优势地位会让位给新加坡。短短几天之内,有数位商界领袖公开表示,香港政府应该做出让步。
        Public defiance forced the government to capitulate, in a stinging setback for the city’s ultimate masters in China. It also gave the business community cover to speak out.        公众的反抗迫使政府屈服,使这座城市背后的中国终极大佬遭遇重挫。这也给了商界发声的机会。
        In interviews with The New York Times, more than a dozen top business and political leaders said that the city’s titans of commerce and finance had wrestled with when and how to act. They feared the extradition bill would expose them to the authoritarian arm of Beijing. But only when Beijing seemed to waver did they emerge to oppose it.        在接受《纽约时报》采访时,十多名商界和政界的高级领袖表示,香港的商业和金融业巨头们一直在权衡何时以及如何采取行动。他们担心引渡法案会将他们暴露于北京的威权控制之下。但只有当北京开始犹豫时,他们才起身反抗。
        “If you do business in China, although you may have worries, when the absolute top leader asks for your support, what do you say?” said Michael Tien, a retail magnate and one of two pro-Beijing Hong Kong lawmakers to openly call for delaying the bill’s passage.        “如果你在中国做生意,尽管你有顾虑,但当绝对的最高领导人要求你支持时,你会说什么?”零售业大亨田北辰说,他也是公开呼吁推迟法案通过程序的两名亲北京的香港立法会成员之一。
        As the fight over Hong Kong’s future rages, its business leaders — once the city’s biggest power brokers — are in a position that is growing more precarious. China’s rise has enriched Hong Kong, but it has also emboldened Beijing to take a greater hand in the city’s affairs.        随着围绕香港未来的争斗愈演愈烈,商界领袖们的处境日益变得岌岌可危,他们曾一度是这个城市最大的权力掮客。中国的崛起既让香港变得富有,也使北京更加大胆地介入香港事务。
        That stronger hand threatens Hong Kong’s future as a global commercial hub, but business leaders increasingly fear resisting a Chinese government that does not tolerate dissent.        这样的介入会威胁到香港作为全球商业中心的未来,但商界领袖们却日益惧怕反抗一个不容忍异见的中国政府。
        Outside pressures also played a role in the business leaders’ speaking out. Local tycoons were spooked by rising threats by lawmakers in the United States to reconsider an American policy granting special trade status to Hong Kong, raising the prospect that the city could become another front in President Trump’s trade war with China.        外部压力也对商界领袖的发声起了推动作用。美国议员不断警告,要重新考虑美国给予香港特殊贸易地位的政策,令本地大亨们感到惊慌,这可能意味着香港或将成为特朗普总统与中国贸易战的又一道前线。
        Hong Kong, a former British colony, owes its rise to its position as the world’s bridge to China. It operates under its own laws, enjoying independent courts and wide freedom of expression. That has made it an ideal base for local billionaires and global companies to run their mainland businesses.        作为前英国殖民地,香港的崛起得益于它作为世界进入中国的桥梁地位。它有自己的法律制度,享有独立的法庭和广泛的言论自由。这使得它成为当地的亿万富翁和跨国企业经营大陆业务的理想基地。
        Those business types have long enjoyed tremendous power. They control roughly one-third of the seats of the Legislative Council, the city’s lawmaking body. A few tycoons own the property companies, utilities, supermarkets and other businesses central to everyday life.        这些生意人一直享有巨大的权力。他们控制着香港立法机构立法会大约三分之一的席位。一些大亨还拥有对民生至关重要的房地产公司、公用事业公司、超市及其他对日常生活至关重要的企业。
        Their support, or lack of it, has helped decide the fate of other political movements. A pro-business party effectively blocked a 2003 law that would have extended China’s national security apparatus into the city, resulting in the eventual ouster of Hong Kong’s top leader. By contrast, businesses harshly criticized the 2014 occupation of parts of the city by protesters opposing the mainland’s increasing sway in Hong Kong. The protest ultimately faltered.        他们的态度曾左右过其他政治运动的结局。2003年,一个亲商业的党派有效阻止了把中国的国家安全机制延伸到香港的立法,并最终导致香港特首下台。相比之下,2014年,商界严厉批评抗议者为反对大陆在香港日益施加影响而占领该市部分地区的做法。抗议最后以失败收场。
        The extradition bill drew immediate worry from the business community when it was submitted in February. The bill would make it possible for Hong Kong to extradite suspects to the mainland. In closed-door meetings, business leaders argued that it could make them vulnerable to charges of corruption in China, where bribery has long been seen as a cost of doing business but has become the target of a nationwide crackdown in the past few years.        引渡法案2月份提交时,立即引发了商界的担忧。法案将使香港把犯罪嫌疑人引渡至大陆成为可能。在闭门会议上,商界领袖指出,这会使他们容易遭到中国腐败指控的影响,在那里,贿赂长期被视为做生意的一项成本,但过去几年这种做法已成为全国打击行动的目标。
        “When we started to open up factories in China, the overall rule of law was not so mature,” said Felix Chung, a Legislative Council member and Liberal Party leader who represents the textiles and garment sector.        “我们开始在中国建厂时,整个法治还不太健全,”代表纺织与服装业的立法会成员暨自由党党魁钟国斌说。
        “A lot of things had to be done by special ways, through corruption, bribery or whatever,” said Mr. Chung, who opened his factory on the mainland in 1993.        “很多事情必须通过特殊渠道完成,通过腐败、贿赂或任何方式,”钟国斌说。他于1993年在大陆开设了工厂。
        In March, Mr. Chung and other Hong Kong business representatives met privately with John Lee, the top official at the city’s Security Bureau, which submitted the original bill, to express their concerns. After the meetings, the government narrowed the scope of the bill, easing the worries of some business owners, but bribery remained on the list of offenses that could lead to extradition.        3月份,钟国斌和其他香港商界代表与提交初始法案的香港保安局局长李家超私下举行了会面,表达了他们的担忧。会面后,香港政府缩小了法案范畴,缓建了部分企业主的担忧,但贿赂一直是可能导致引渡的罪名之一。
        Opposition built among local and international businesses. By the end of March, the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said that it still had “serious concerns” about the bill, adding that it would “reduce the appeal of Hong Kong to international companies considering Hong Kong as a base for regional operations.”        本地和国际企业也加入了反对行列。到3月底,香港美国商会表示,对该法案仍存在“严重担忧”,称它将“降低香港对那些视之为区域业务基地的跨国企业的吸引力”。
        The Hong Kong offices of global multinational companies were flooded with emails and telephone calls from head offices worried about the implications of the legislation.        许多跨国公司的香港办事处收到大量来自总部的电子邮件和电话,他们担心该法案的影响。
        “It would apply to the accountants and the bankers who structure the loans to the corporate lawyers who advised on the various issues of the financing,” said Michael Vidler, a prominent lawyer in Hong Kong.        “这将适用于为那些就各种融资问题提供咨询的企业律师安排贷款的会计师和银行家,”香港知名律师韦智达(Michael Vidler)说。
        “All it would take is some breakdown in a business deal or someone not wanting to repay a loan with an entity in China with a high-placed official, and they would find themselves at the end of the extradition requests,” he said.        “其结果是,在同拥有高级官员的中国机构做交易时,导致交易破裂的人,或是不想向这样的机构偿还贷款的人,会发现自己出现在引渡请求的名单上,”他说。
        Chinese officials tried to quell dissent. On May 17, they summoned more than 200 pro-Beijing officials and business leaders to discuss the bill and seek support for the measure. A few days later, two of the most senior officials in the Chinese Communist Party, Han Zheng and Wang Yang, voiced their support.        中国官员试图平息异议。5月17日,他们召集了200多名亲北京的官员和商界领袖讨论该法案,并寻求支持。几天后,中国共产党两位最高官员——韩正和汪洋——对法案表示支持。
        With the date for lawmakers to approve the bill looming, the typically pro-establishment Hong Kong Law Society uncharacteristically called for the government to delay passage. The call from the society, which represents lawyers involved in a wide range of commercial transactions, helped to galvanize many ordinary citizens and small-business owners, to speak out in protest.        随着议员们批准该法案的日期渐渐临近,一向支持建制派的香港律师会(Hong Kong Law Society)一反常态地呼吁政府推迟通过。该协会代表了参与各种商业交易的律师,它的呼吁激发了许多普通民众和小企业主站出来抗议。
        Four days later, on June 9, hundreds of thousands of people filled the streets of Hong Kong in one of the largest demonstrations in the city’s history.        四天后的6月9日,成千上万的民众涌上街头,这是香港历史上规模最大的示威活动之一。
        China’s reaction was muted. The Foreign Ministry said it still supported the bill and criticized “foreign forces that interfere” in Hong Kong’s affairs. But local tycoons realized that Beijing had underestimated the local opposition.        中国的反应是沉默。中国外交部表示,仍然支持该法案,并批评“外部势力干预”香港事务。但当地大亨们意识到,北京低估了当地的反对力量。
        The next day, Abraham Shek, a pro-Beijing lawmaker who is a director of Goldin Financial, a major real estate developer, demanded an urgent board meeting. Goldin Financial was on the verge of completing a hard-won deal to buy a $1.4 billion property at the site of Hong Kong’s old Kai Tak airport.        第二天,亲北京的立法会成员、大房地产开发商高银金融(Goldin Financial)董事石礼谦(Abraham Shek)要求召开紧急董事会。高银金融即将完成一笔来之不易的交易,以14亿美元买下香港旧启德机场(Kai Tak airport)原址上的一处地块。
        The board decided to abandon the deal, forfeiting $3.2 million as a penalty, citing “social contradiction and economic instability.”        董事会以“社会矛盾和经济不稳定”为由,决定放弃这笔交易,缴纳320万美元的罚金。
        Mr. Shek did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Goldin Financial said the company had no more to add.        石礼谦没有回应置评请求。高银金融的发言人表示,该公司没有更多补充。
        “I think it was sensible,” Mr. Chung, the Liberal Party leader, said. “What if Hong Kong becomes a very unstable place with many demonstrations every week?” he added.        “我认为这是明智的,”自由党领袖钟国斌说。“如果香港变成一个非常不稳定的地方,每周都有很多示威活动,那会怎么样?”他补充说。
        In the United States, Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed “deep concern” and suggested that Congress could reconsider the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act, which gives the city special status for customs and commercial purposes.        在美国,众议院议长南希·佩洛西(Nancy Pelosi)表示“深切关注”,并建议国会重新考虑《美国—香港政策法》(United States-Hong Kong Policy Act)。该法案令香港在海关和商业方面享有特殊地位。
        Still, Hong Kong’s leaders did not dare speak out publicly until after June 12, when tens of thousands of protesters surrounded the Legislative Council building, preventing lawmakers from debating the bill. Police officers fired tear gas and shot rubber bullets. Businesspeople watched the fray from their skyscraper windows.        不过,香港领导人直到6月12日之后才敢公开发表言论,当时数以万计的抗议者包围了立法会大楼,阻止议员们就该法案展开辩论。警察发射了催泪瓦斯和橡皮子弹。商人们从摩天大楼的窗户里目睹了这场冲突。
        The business world squirmed. A share sale worth more than $1 billion by the property developer ESR Cayman was postponed because of the instability, said a person with knowledge of the decision, who asked to speak anonymously because the discussions were private. ESR declined to comment.        商界深感不安。一名知情人士称,房地产开发商易商红木(ESR Cayman)价值逾10亿美元的上市计划因不稳定因素而推迟。由于讨论是保密的,这名人士要求匿名。易商红木则拒绝置评。
        A gauge of money supply in Hong Kong known as Hibor spiked that day to its highest point since the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, suggesting that some panicked investors might be pulling their money out of Hong Kong.        当天,名为Hibor的香港货币供应指标升至2008年金融危机最严重时期以来的最高水平,表明一些恐慌的投资者可能正在将资金撤出香港。
        By Friday, Bernard Chan, president of a local insurer and a top government adviser, and Mr. Tien, a deputy to China’s national parliament, urged a pause on the bill.        上周五,当地一家保险公司的总裁、政府高级顾问陈智思和中国的全国人大代表田北俊敦促暂停该法案。
        “After you had this many people in the streets and there were casualties, we did not want further escalation,” Mr. Chan said.        “这么多人走上街头并造成伤亡后,我们不希望事态进一步升级,”陈智思说。
        Carrie Lam, the city’s chief executive, met with pro-Beijing lawmakers and senior Chinese officials. Then, on Saturday, June 15, she said she would postpone the bill.        香港特首林郑月娥见了亲北京的议员和中国高级官员。然后,在6月15日星期六,她宣布将推迟这项法案。
        The battle over the bill is not over. Mrs. Lam or any successor could still push it through. But many people within Hong Kong’s business community hope that Beijing would see the value in addressing the concerns of people and companies.        围绕这项法案的战斗并未结束。林郑月娥或任何继任者仍有可能推动该法案获得通过。但香港商界的许多人士希望,北京能够看到解决民众和企业担忧的价值。
        “This incident revealed the true character of the Hong Kong people,” Mr. Tien said, “and sent a signal to China that if they really want to rule Hong Kong with stability and prosperity, they have to gain the hearts of the Hong Kong people.”        “这起事件暴露了香港人民的真实性格,”田北俊说,“它向中国发出了一个信号,如果他们想要真正稳定繁荣地统治香港,就必须赢得香港民心。”
                
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