方禮倫:企業的政治表態 The Political Interference In Business

受中國輿論猛烈追問之下,匯豐銀行早前表態支持港版「國安法」立法。 圖片來源:路透社

Following demands by Beijing, and without any intervention from the Hong Kong SAR government, HSBC and Standard Chartered joins Swire and Jardines Matheson in publicly supporting the national security legislation. (Or, in a carefully worded statement, to give the impression that they do.)

This is in direct contradiction to the line taken by the UK government, the legal community and the overwhelming majority of China watchers. It is also, curiously, inconsistent with the professional opinions of most analysts working at the bank itself.

And we meant to believe Hong Kong continues to enjoy a high degree of autonomy when the separation between politics and business is not respected.

If it is reasonable and acceptable to make such demands on businesses, imagine what might happen if such demands were placed on Chinese business abroad. What would be the reactions should a Chinese company in the UK, perhaps one called Huawei, were not only pressure to take a position in opposition to the Chinese government?(註 1)

Indeed, how might Beijing react should Chinese companies with business in the UK also actively lobby on behalf of the UK government in Zhongnanhai?

Last year in its response to a protest movement the Hong Kong SAR government and Hong Kong Police Force provided all the evidence people needed to feel their fears for the future of their home were justified.

That this was done not only unwittingly, but also unconsciously, suggests a staggering disconnect and level of incompetence. So much for institutions that were once justifiably known to be Asia’s finest.

Political interference has corrupted two of Hong Kong’s core institutions. Will it also poison Hong Kong’s business environment?

Totalitarian regimes demand more than obedience — they force us to accept their truths, and to adopt their mindset.(註 2)

To borrow (and translate) a line from Hong Kong playwright Candace Chong Mui Ngam excellent play, 35th May (5 月 35 日): Only a shameless regime would dare spread such lies, only the dumbest people would believe them.(註 3)


瑞士外長宣佈,就「瑞士銀行是否應該與侵害人權的國家保持業務往來」為主題,11 月舉行全國公投




  • 作者因此質問:在英國市場賺錢的華為,是否應該表態支持英國政府的政策,例如華為表態支持英國外交部給予香港 BNO 居民英國居留權?如果華為收到此一壓力,中國又會如何反應?


  • 「極權政府不只要你服從,還要強迫你接受他們的真理,以及與他們一樣的思維方式。」作者這句話,由香港特首林鄭月娥一年來的變化,足可驗證。香港這位特首對美國的制裁、對劍橋大學院士名銜所發表的反應,愈來愈與中國外交部發言人一樣。香港許多中環精英都指出:以前香港政府新聞處或官員都不是這樣說話的。


  • Only the dumbest people would believe them:愚蠢,在英文中有很多級數不同的形容詞:dumb、stupid、idiotic,甚至 imbecilic,皆可。由於涉及非常嚴重的判斷,所以容易引起冒犯,尤其指某個群體。因此,作者在這裡用了最輕微、也是最口語化的一個,可謂宅心仁厚、筆下留情。





※ 此欄文章為作者觀點,不代表本網立場。 ※

方禮倫(Evan Fowler ) ,本地出生成長、中英交界的香港人,在劍橋和倫敦大學政經學院畢業。現居英國。 英文怎樣能表達得更好?香港的英文教育,著重文法正確、詞彙廣泛。但除了這兩樣,說好的英文、寫好的英文,還要有某種英語的理性與感性思維。 好的英文必清晰、婉約而有教養,與中文寫作文化略有不同。有時借用英文的文化特色,用於中文,可以別具一格。但若有一日移居英語國家,與以英語為母語的當地人溝通,融入主流社會,摸通英文表達藝術的深層結構,會很有用。 方禮倫的英文筆觸細膩,每週五他會以英文與我們見一次面,講述香港和海外華人關心的事情。除了獨特的觀點,其文筆可供英文寫作學習參考。