Double-Edged Sword Hong Kong Gov’t Warns US On Special Status

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Double-Edged Sword Hong Kong Gov’t Warns US On Special Status

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam tried to rally people behind China’s new national security on Friday, as the government warned the United States to stop interfering in its internal affairs, saying the withdrawal of the territory’s special status could be a “double-edged sword”.

The statement came as US President Donald Trump prepared to announce later on Friday his response to the Chinese parliament’s approval of national security legislation for Hong Kong, which critics say will erode the freedoms agreed on its return to Chinese rule in 1997.

The former British colony enjoys a high degree of autonomy under the “one country, two systems” framework that ended more than a century of colonial rule.

https://www.aljazeera.com

“Any sanctions are a double-edged sword that will not only harm the interests of Hong Kong but also significantly those of the US,” the city’s government said late on Thursday.

It added that from 2009 to 2018, the US trade surplus with Hong Kong was the biggest among all its trading partners, totalling $297bn of merchandise with 1,300 American firms are based in the city.

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The legislation will allow Chinese intelligence agencies to set up bases in the territory. Beijing argues the new legislation is necessary to tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference.

Hong Kong has been convulsed by sometimes violent protests since the local government attempted to introduce an extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial. While the scale of the opposition forced the government to abandon the plan, the protests have evolved into broader calls for democracy amid concerns about China’s encroachment into Hong Kong’s affairs.

Double-Edged Sword Hong Kong Gov’t Warns US On Special Status

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