HONG KONG- On Tuesday, Hong Kong leader, Carrie Lam said that United States legislation supporting protesters may damage business confidence in the financial hub, and announced the fourth round of relief measures to boost an economy battered by months of demonstrations.
Lam told reporters the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act signed into law by US President Donald Trump last week, was "wholly unnecessary". Hong Kong, which has been convulsed by nearly six months of pro-democracy protests, is now grappling with its first recession in a decade.
The act requires the US State Department to certify at least annually that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to justify favourable US trading terms, and threatens sanctions for human rights violations.
"The impact currently is on confidence," Lam said. Companies "will be worried about the actions the U.S. government may take in the future after they review this legislation," she said.
Separately, the justice secretary, Teresa Cheng, said she would return to her office on Wednesday after being on sick leave for more than two weeks following an altercation in London during which she was injured.
The Hong Kong government has previously said Cheng was targeted by a "violent mob" while on a trip to promote the city. Cheng, who returned to Hong Kong from Beijing on Tuesday, told reporters at the airport that she had suffered a bone fracture around her wrist and had an operation in London.
"The hand is, of course, painful, but not as painful as the heart to see Hong Kong is still at the state we are in," she said.