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China to sanction United States in retaliation for legislation on Hong Kong

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China to sanction United States in retaliation for legislation on Hong Kong

China says it will impose sanctions in retaliation for United States legislation ending Hong Kong’s special trade status with the United States


China firmly opposes and strongly condemns the United States signing on Tuesday of the Hong Kong Autonomy Act into law, a statement on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website said on Wednesday.

China will impose sanctions on United States personnel and entities, the statement added.

United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed legislation that will impose sanctions on Chinese persons and entities that are involved in Beijing’s actions to remove autonomy from Hong Kong.

Trump also said he signed an executive order to end the special privileges of Hong Kong, in a continuation of the president’s campaign against Beijing, which he accuses of failing to adequately address the coronavirus outbreak.

The president in May announced his move to revoke Hong Kong’s special status, citing China’s response to the pandemic.

The legislation received bipartisan support in both the Senate and House of Representatives earlier this year.

Congress passed the act in response to Beijing imposing a national security law on Hong Kong, which critics fear intends to quash dissent in the financial hub, which has been roiled by protests for the past year.

In a winding campaign style speech from the White House, Trump blasted former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden  the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee  for failing to properly address China under their leadership.

A status change will be a major blow to Hong Kong’s trading relationship with the United States and the territory’s position as a key Asian financial centre, which also serves as a port for Beijing’s financial and commercial transactions with other countries.

On Wednesday, the president of Hong Kong’s legislative council (LegCo) rejected calls for lawmakers to debate the US’ decision.

A lawmaker for Civic Passion, Cheng Chung Tai, told LegCo President Andrew Leung that the move has affected the social, economic and livelihood interests of Hong Kong, during Wednesday’s parliamentary session.

But Leung said there was no need to debate the matter since Trump had already signed the executive order, and told lawmakers to follow up through `different channels’ in what was the final meeting of LegCo’s current session. The chamber will resume on  Aug 25.

The chairwoman of New People’s Party, Regina Ip, said Washington’s decision was barbaric and unreasonable.

Ip said Hong Kongers’ access to United States visas would be affected but said they would not want to go there now because of the Covid-19 epidemic and racial discrimination in the country.

While admitting the move would affect Hong Kong’s international status, Ip said that its financial status wouldn’t be affected.

Beijing gazetted the new national security act into an annex of Hong Kong’s Basic Law on June 30, a four-part law targeting secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Just over a week later, amid international outcry over the new law, the Chief Executive Carrie Lam held an inauguration ceremony to usher in the Office for Safeguarding National Security, which is operating temporarily from the Metropark Hotel.

Edited By: Halima Sheji/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)

 

Sheji Halima: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

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