Thursday, 16 July, 2020

China to reciprocate US sanctions after Trump ends Hong Kong special status

China says it will slap retaliatory sanctions on the United States over President Donald Trump’s decision to end Hong Kong’s special status and impose sanctions on Chinese officials in relation to the semi-autonomous city.

Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order that he said would end the preferential economic treatment of the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Washington is angry at the application of a uniform national security law to the city by the government in Beijing.

“No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies,” Trump said after signing the executive order on, among others, sanctions against banks doing business with Chinese officials involved in the implementation of the new security law in Hong Kong.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday that Beijing strongly opposed Trump’s move, urging his administration to stop interfering in China’s internal affairs.

“Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no foreign country has the right to interfere,” the ministry said.

It said Beijing would impose retaliatory sanctions on US individuals and entities.

Trump’s move came two weeks after Hong Kong enacted a national security law that criminalizes sedition, secession, and subversion against mainland China and allows Chinese national security institutions to operate in the city for the first time since 1997, when Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule.

The US, Britain, and other Western countries have criticized the law and have moved to take action against Beijing and Hong Kong. China, however, insists that Hong Kong is a purely internal Chinese affair.

Relations between the United States and China have hit the lowest level in decades. The two are at loggerheads over a range of issues, including trade, human rights, the South China Sea, arms sales to Taiwan and the coronavirus pandemic.

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