(ReliableNews.org) – Hong Kong’s autonomy was all but ripped away when the Chinese government implemented its new security law in the region. The law gives officials in Beijing control over many of the political freedoms residents have enjoyed.
The law was widely condemned throughout the international community. This week, President Donald Trump responded to the Communist country’s decision to push it through anyway.
Trump Takes Action
On July 14, President Trump signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act. The law sanctions Chinese banks and officials that interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs.
In addition to the bill, the president also signed an executive order stripping Hong Kong of its preferential-trade status. During a press conference in the White House Rose Garden, the president said the executive order and legislation will “hold China accountable for its aggressive actions.”
Trump went on to explain because of the decision to pass the security law, Hong Kong “will now be treated the same as mainland China.”
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) July 14, 2020
The Chinese government was not pleased when told about the sanctions. The country’s foreign ministry said it would protect China’s “legitimate interests” and impose retaliatory sanctions on US individuals and institutions. The ministry’s statement said it “resolutely opposes it and condemns” the law signed by President Trump.
The foreign ministry didn’t say exactly who would be sanctioned, but according to NPR, Senators Patrick Toomey (R-PA) and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) would likely be on the list. These two lawmakers introduced the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.
The tensions are rising between the US and China. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two countries negotiated a historic trade deal and there were hopes relations would normalize. Unfortunately, the actions taken by Beijing when the outbreak began seem to have rightfully soured any progress that had been made.
There’s no telling when and if the relationship will ever be repaired.
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