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Bank of England governor Mark Carney pulls out of dinner with Chinese ambassador

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Bank of England governor Mark Carney pulls out of dinner with Chinese ambassador as police continue to clash with protesters in Hong Kong

  • Mark Carney pulled out of the September event because of a ‘diary issue’ 
  • Chinese ambassador to UK Liu Xiaoming is set to attend the dinner at Guildhall
  • Yesterday 1.7million pro-democracy protesters took to the streets in Hong Kong

The governor of the Bank of England has cancelled his appearance at a dinner to strengthen links between China and London amid ongoing pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong.

Mark Carney pulled out of the City of London Corporation event, which is scheduled for September 3 at Guildhall. 

Set to appear at the dinner are Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming, the corporation’s policy chief, Catherine McGuinness, and Lord Mayor Peter Estlin.

Mark Carney pulled out of the City of London Corporation event, which is scheduled for September 3 at Guildhall

Set to appear at the dinner are Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming (pictured), the corporation's policy chief, Catherine McGuinness, and Lord Mayor Peter Estlin

Mark Carney (left) pulled out of the City of London Corporation event, which is scheduled for September 3 at Guildhall. Set to appear at the dinner are Chinese ambassador to the UK, Liu Xiaoming (right), the corporation’s policy chief, Catherine McGuinness, and Lord Mayor Peter Estlin

The dinner comes after more than 1.7million pro-democracy protesters hit the streets of Hong Kong yesterday in an ongoing demonstration against a bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to China. 

City of London Councillor Richard Crossan told City AM that the Square Mile must remind China of its responsibilities on human rights, democracy and free speech in Hong Kong. 

He said: ‘As the situation in Hong Kong develops, the City must also remember that is is not just a financial services lobbying group. It has moral responsibilities, whether it wants them or not.’

Another councillor questioned whether the event should even take place on the 70th anniversary of the founding of a communist dictatorship that has cost millions of lives. 

They added: ‘If the red army rolls into Hong Kong, it would be unthinkable to hold this event.’ 

The dinner comes as more than 1.7million pro-democracy protesters hit the streets of Hong Kong yesterday in an ongoing demonstration against a bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to China. Pictured is a protester being arrested at Hong Kong airport on Tuesday night

The dinner comes as more than 1.7million pro-democracy protesters hit the streets of Hong Kong yesterday in an ongoing demonstration against a bill that would have allowed people to be extradited to China. Pictured is a protester being arrested at Hong Kong airport on Tuesday night

Anti-extradition bill protesters participate in a march to demand democracy and political reforms in Hong Kong yesterday

Anti-extradition bill protesters participate in a march to demand democracy and political reforms in Hong Kong yesterday

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A source said that Carney pulled out of the event because of a ‘diary issue’.   

The Chinese military has stayed out of the conflict since the protests began in Hong Kong on March 31 but a few tanks have now gathered on the border.  

Organisers said at least 1.7million people turned out for yesterday’s demonstration, marking the 11th consecutive weekend of public protests.

Chinese Ambassador Liu has warned that Beijing will not ‘sit on its hands and watch’ if the protest situation becomes ‘uncontrollable’. 

Beijing has been massing soldiers in Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong (pictured), while threatening to quell the protests by force - raising fears of another Tiananmen Square-style massacre

Beijing has been massing soldiers in Shenzhen, across the border from Hong Kong (pictured), while threatening to quell the protests by force – raising fears of another Tiananmen Square-style massacre

Pro-democracy protesters have continued rallies on the streets of Hong Kong in the 11th straight week of demonstrations

Pro-democracy protesters have continued rallies on the streets of Hong Kong in the 11th straight week of demonstrations

China has become instrumental to the Corporation’s lobbying since the EU referendum in 2016 and the City has become the western point of contact for China’s Belt and Road initiative that could add an annual £1.8bn to UK GDP.   

A City of London Corporation spokesperson told City AM: ‘We host a number of events throughout the year designed to support the government’s efforts to strengthen relationships with key trading partners around the globe for the benefit of the City, London and the UK.’

The Bank of England have no comment.

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