Trump moves to punish China over Hong Kong

Trump moves to punish China over Hong Kong

  • US President Donald Trump signed an executive order and a law that would sanction people and banks deemed to have eroded Hong Kong’s autonomy.

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order ending Hong Kong’s preferential trade treatment and enacted a bill that would require sanctions against foreign individuals and banks that contribute to the erosion of the city’s autonomy.

“Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China,” Trump said in a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House. “No special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies.”

On Wednesday, China said it would retaliate and sanction United States institutions and individuals.

The Hong Kong Autonomy Act and executive order are in response to China’s imposition of a controversial national security law on Hong Kong, which critics, including US lawmakers, say violates the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.

The Joint Declaration prescribed that the city would enjoy a “high degree of autonomy” until at least 2047.

The national law criminalizes a wide range of behavior under four categories of subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion. It allows Beijing to extradite suspects to the mainland in some instances. The law is also extraterritorial, covering alleged crimes committed outside the city.

The executive order could open up Hong Kong to the tariffs his administration has slapped on Chinese exports during the two-year trade war between Washington and Beijing.