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Economy

Security law threatens Hong Kong's arbitration and trade hub status

Prospect of politicized courts and US sanctions has business community sweating

TOKYO -- China's contentious new national security law for Hong Kong, which came into force July 1, threatens Hong Kong's status as an international business center, both as a provider of international legal services in Asia and as a trading hub.

Critics of the security law, which criminalizes separatism, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, say it puts Hong Kong's position as an international legal center at risk. Hong Kong is locked in a fierce competition with Singapore to attract arbitration cases to settle international commercial disputes. Crucial to the international arbitration business is a track record of judicial neutrality, in which courts are insulated from politics.

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