Trump Targets China Over Hong Kong Security Law

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Trump Targets China Over Hong Kong Security Law

President Donald Trump has announced that he will start to end preferential treatment for Hong Kong in trade and travel, in response to a new security law pushed by Beijing.

He described the Chinese government’s moves to introduce the measure in Hong Kong as a “tragedy”.

Mr Trump also said he was “terminating” the US relationship with the World Health Organization over Covid-19.

China has told the West to “stop interfering” in Hong Kong.

The territory, a former British colony, enjoys unique freedoms not seen in mainland China. But many people there see the looming security law as bringing an end to Hong Kong’s special status, agreed under a 1984 agreement between China and the UK.

There are fears the proposed measure – which has sparked a wave of anti-mainland protests – could end Hong Kong’s unique status and make it a crime to undermine Beijing’s authority in the territory.

What did President Trump outline?

Mr Trump said that he no longer considered Hong Kong to be separate from China.

“China has replaced One Country, Two Systems with One Country, One System”, Mr Trump told reporters in the White House’s Rose Garden, in a prepared statement that attacked China on several fronts.

“This is a tragedy for Hong Kong… China has smothered Hong Kong’s freedom,” he said.

Mr Trump said sanctions would be imposed on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who were believed by Washington to be involved in eroding the territory’s autonomy. He did not outline what form these sanctions would take.

He added that the State Department would revise its travel advisory for Hong Kong in light of “increased danger of surveillance” from China.

The president also said the US would suspend the entry of foreign nationals from China identified by the US as potential security risks. There are fears that this could affect thousands of graduate students.

Adding a new edge to the deteriorating US-China relations

Analysis by Zhaoyin Feng, BBC Chinese

https://www.bbc.com

The US removing Hong Kong’s special privileges sent a strong warning signal to China, which activists and protesters in the territory will welcome.

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The announced measures include not only Hong Kong, but also intellectual property theft and Chinese firms listed in the US.

According to media reports, Washington is expected to revoke more than 3,000 Chinese graduate students’ visas. While this accounts for only 1% of the total number of Chinese students in America, Washington’s move will open yet another front of the bilateral tensions.

But the separate punishments announced for China may not be as harsh as what had been expected, as indicated in the stock markets’ rise after his speech.

Beijing will probably match some of Washington’s sanctions and restrictions in a tit-for-tat manner. After a short-lived honeymoon since the trade deal, China and the US appear to be heading towards the abyss at an accelerating speed.

Trump Targets China Over Hong Kong Security Law

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