Trump ends Hong Kong’s special status, signs sanctions law

The US President Donald Trump on Tuesday ended trade preferences for Hong Kong and signed into law an act that authorizes sanctions on banks over China's clampdown in the international finance hub, news wires reported.

In a discursive news conference dominated by attacks on his rival for the presidential elections in November Joe Biden, Trump declared himself to be the toughest president ever on China, which has emerged as a top nemesis in November elections.

Trump announced that he had issued an executive order on Hong Kong and he predicted decline for the restless city, on which Beijing recently imposed a tough new security law. "Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China -- no special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden."Their freedom has been taken away; their rights have been taken away," Trump added."And with it goes Hong Kong, in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets. A lot of people will be leaving Hong Kong."

Trump also said he had signed into law the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which passed quickly in Congress earlier this month as Beijing pushed ahead with the security law. The new US law authorizes sanctions against Chinese officials and Hong Kong police seen as infringing on the city's autonomy, and, crucially, any banks that make significant transactions with them. Lawmakers hope the new law will force all but provincial Chinese banks to choose between abetting Beijing's efforts in Hong Kong, and being able to conduct transactions in US dollars and operate in the world's largest economy.

 

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