China-Britain link halted over Hong Kong tensions
China says Britain has fuelled Hong Kong tension
China has dealt a blow to Boris Johnson’s attempts to forge new post-EU trading deals by temporarily blocking a new scheme which aimed to build ties with Britain.
Tensions over Hong Kong have led to the suspension of a plan for cross-border listings between the Shanghai and London stock exchanges.
The Shanghai-London Stock Connect scheme was meant to help Chinese firms expand their investor base and give mainland investors access to UK-listed companies.
Sources, who include public officials, have told the Reuters news agency that politics was behind the suspension, in particular Britain’s stance over the Hong Kong protests.
British companies with interests in China are now anxiously watching how Mr Johnson approaches relations with Beijing and how the UK government responds to the ongoing tensions in Hong Kong, a British colony until 1997.
China has blamed interference by the United States and Britain for fuelling the protests in Hong Kong.
Stock Connect, which began operating last year, was created to help improve Britain’s relationship with the world’s second biggest economy and was seen as a major step by China to open up its capital markets.
SDIC Power and China Pacific Insurance are among those companies believed to have been impacted by the suspension.
The China Securities Regulatory Commission and the Shanghai Stock Exchange did not respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.