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Stand up to Beijing, says Hong Kong singer to US lawmaker, company

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hong Kong singer and activist Denise Ho wants US lawmakers and companies to criticize Beijing's actions in Hong Kong, to help change the behavior of the Chinese Communist Party.

Ho told Reuters on Monday that Beijing was using its power and influence to stifle disagreement around the world and urged companies investing in China and Hong Kong, a former British colony, to robustly support human rights and democracy.

The Chinese territory has been rocked by more than three months of sometimes violent clashes, with protesters angry at what they see as creeping involvement from Beijing in Hong Kong's affairs, despite a promise of autonomy. Beijing is exporting its authoritarian values ​​around the world, Ho said.

"The only way to counter this global oppression is by beating (China) where it really hurts," she said. “The communist government cares nothing but the economy. They do not care about human rights and they do not care about these universal values ​​that we have. "

" We see companies making a profit "in China, she said. "There are many US companies that have been based in Shenzhen, and they have become blind to this issue, to these human issues."

China has condemned the protests and accused the United States and Britain of interfering in its affairs in Hong Kong. It has sent clear warnings that vigorous intervention is possible.

Ho will testify with Joshua Wong, Secretary General of Hong Kong's Demosisto Party and leader of the "umbrella movement" and other activists in Congress on Tuesday at an event organized by the Congressional Executive Commission for China (CECC).

US. legislators fine-tune a bipartisan proposal that would require an annual review of the specific treatment Washington provides Hong Kong, including trade and business privileges, under the US Hong Kong Policy Act 1


The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would also make officials in China and Hong Kong, which has undermined the city's autonomy, subject to sanctions.

President Donald Trump, who has found a tariff-to-toll tariff war with China for more than a year, has suggested that China should "humanely" solve the problem before reaching a trade agreement.

On Monday, the Moody's credit rating agency lowered its view of Hong Kong's rating to negative from stable, reflecting what it called the growing risk of "an erosion in the strength of Hong Kong institutions" amid the city's ongoing protests.

Ho said that the trade war had offered a "protective shield" to the people of Hong Kong and protected them from a violent Beijing crackdown, such as deployment of troops.

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Industry groups worry that the bill is threatening fragile US-China trade talks, but Ho said the passage would send a powerful signal to other countries and confirm US leadership in the world.

"I think Hong Kong is at the forefront of this very global struggle for humanity itself," she said.

(This story corrects to lower "outlook", not "ratings", at paragraph 11)

Editing by Heather Timmons and Jacqueline Wong

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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