Amid the escalating unrest in Hong Kong, many small businesses have pulled down the shutters as the economy shrinks and tourists stay away. (Photo: China Daily)
HONG KONG - Financial Secretary of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government Paul Chan said on Sunday that the prolonged social unrest and violence have jeopardized Hong Kong's global image and competitiveness.
Hong Kong's rating in various areas from security to business environment in international rankings will see the negative influence this year, he said in an online article.
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, Chan said, citing a 40-50 percent drop in visitors to Hong Kong 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 reputation of Hong Kong as a reliable aviation hub and dented the confidence of foreign businesses in Hong Kong, Chan said, adding that some international conferences usually held in Hong Kong went to other places last year.
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, he noted.
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, Chan said.
He called on the whole society to disassociate with violence and treasure the home of Hong Kong.