China vows retaliation in opposition to US over Hong Kong sanctions

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China has stated it could retaliate after US President Donald Trump ordered an finish to preferential commerce remedy for Hong Kong and signed laws permitting sanctions on banks over Beijing’s clampdown on the semi-autonomous metropolis.In a press release on Wednesday, China’s overseas ministry stated the US’s Hong Kong Autonomy Act “maliciously slanders” new nationwide safety laws Beijing had imposed on Hong Kong earlier this month and warned Washington in opposition to interference in its inner affairs. “China will make necessary responses to protect its legitimate interests, and impose sanctions on relevant US personnel and entities,” the ministry added, with out elaborating.
The assertion got here hours after Trump stepped up strain in opposition to Beijing over its tightening grip on Hong Kong, a former British colony that was returned to Chinese rule in 1997 with the promise of autonomy and freedoms not identified in mainland China. “Today I signed legislation, and an executive order to hold China accountable for its aggressive actions against the people of Hong Kong,” Trump stated on the White House on Tuesday. “Hong Kong will now be handled the identical as mainland China – no particular privileges, no particular financial remedy and no export of delicate applied sciences. “Their freedom has been taken away; their rights have been taken away,” Trump stated, citing Beijing’s new nationwide safety legislation. “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.”
Trade surplus
Beijing had defied worldwide warnings by imposing the safety legislation, which criminalises offences it broadly defines as subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with overseas forces. The laws has despatched a chill by Hong Kong, which final yr noticed large, and generally violent, pro-democracy protests.
In response, the US Congress unanimously handed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which targets police items which have cracked down on Hong Kong protesters in addition to Chinese Communist Party officers answerable for imposing the brand new safety legislation.
Mandatory sanctions are additionally required on banks that conduct enterprise with the officers. 
Meanwhile, Trump’s government order stated the US property of any particular person decided to be answerable for or complicit in “actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Hong Kong” can be blocked.
It additionally directs officers to “revoke license exceptions for exports to Hong Kong”, and contains revoking particular remedy for Hong Kong passport holders.
However, analysts say that fully ending Hong Kong’s particular remedy might show self-defeating for the US. Hong Kong was the supply of the most important bilateral US items commerce surplus final yr, at $26.1bn, US Census Bureau information exhibits. According to the US Department of State, 85,000 US residents lived in Hong Kong in 2018, and greater than 1,300 US corporations function there, together with nearly each main US monetary agency.
The territory can be a significant vacation spot for US authorized and accounting companies.
Al Jazeera’s Divya Gopalan, reporting from Hong Kong, stated Washington’s move has nervous companies within the metropolis. “The Hong Kong government says this is likely to hurt the US more than it will hurt Hong Kong, and indeed, if you look at the numbers, the US has a bigger trade surplus with Hong Kong. But the reality is there are many Hong Kong businesses that rely on this special status with the US,” she stated. “Hong Kong is a re-exporting hub, which means that goods and services come through Hong Kong into the US to avoid those trade sanctions or restrictions that China may have in dealing with the US.”
The US started eliminating Hong Kong’s particular standing underneath US legislation in late June, halting protection exports and proscribing the territory’s entry to high-technology merchandise as China ready to enact the safety laws.
Other actions within the works embrace suspending an extradition treaty with Hong Kong, one thing Australia has already carried out, in addition to ending authorized cooperation agreements, taxation accords and monetary understandings that cowl accounting rules for Chinese companies that work within the US.
At the identical time, the Trump administration has pressed forward with travel bans for Chinese, Hong Kong and Communist Party officers the US believes are answerable for curbing democracy in Hong Kong.
The administration has additionally gone after China by imposing travel bans on officers for repressing minorities in western China and hindering foreigners’ entry to Tibet.
On Monday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo introduced that the US had determined to reject outright nearly all Chinese maritime claims within the South China Sea, a willpower that might result in elevated tensions in disputed, important worldwide delivery lanes.

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