Senior Hong Kong communist government officials lashed out on Saturday at moves by President Trump to strip the city of its special status. In a Bid to Punish China’s communists for imposing national security laws on the global financial hub.
Speaking hours after Trump said the city no longer warranted economic privileges and some officials could face sanctions, security minister John Lee of the communist party told reporters that Hong Kong’s government could not be threatened. Furthermore he and th communist Party would push ahead with the new laws.
“I don’t think they will succeed in using any means to threaten the (Hong Kong) government. Because we believe what we are doing is right,” Lee said. Stating the Hong Kong Government when in reality he was speaking about Beijing.
Justice Minister Teresa Cheng said a the basis for Trump’s actions was “completely false and wrong.” Saying the national security laws were legal and necessary. Trumpeting the communist party line for Beijing.
Hong Kong no longer warrants US economic privilege
President Trump said Beijing had broken its word over Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy from the mainland. Above all by proposing the national security legislation. As a result, he also said the territory no longer warranted US economic privileges.
“We will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment. Above all as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China,” Trump said. He also said Washington would also impose sanctions on individuals seen as responsible for “smothering. The absolutely smothering — Hong Kong’s freedom.”
Trump told reporters at the White House that China’s move on Hong Kong was a “tragedy” for the world. Furthermore he gave no timetable for the White House’s moves. Leaving Hong Kong residents, businesses and officials to ponder just how far his administration will go.
“I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy that gives Hong Kong different and special treatment,” Trump said.
Status as a vital business centre
“This will also affect the full range of agreements. From our extradition treaty to our export controls on dual-use technologies and more, with few exceptions.” The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said Saturday marked “a sad day” for China’s freest city.
“This is an emotional moment for Americans in Hong Kong. It will take companies and families a while to digest the ramifications,” AmCham president Tara Joseph said in a statement.
“Many of us … have deep ties to this city and with Hong Kong people. We love Hong Kong and it’s a sad day,” she said. Also adding that the chamber would continue to work with its members to maintain Hong Kong’s status as a vital business centre.
China’s communist government this week approved a decision to create laws for Hong Kong to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign interference. Mainland security and intelligence agents may be stationed in the city for the first time. A moves critics say put the city’s extensive freedoms at risk.
Communist Party authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong insist the legislation will target only a small number of “troublemakers.” Those who threaten China’s national security and communist rule. They say such action is urgently needed after months of sometimes violent anti-government protests.
UK and Japan speak out
Meanwhile, on Friday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the UK was also “deeply concerned” about the new security law. Which “risks undermining the principle of ‘one nations, two systems'”.
Japan said it was “seriously concerned” by Beijing’s move. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Hong Kong was an extremely important partner. Furthermore that democracy and stability there must be maintained.
Hong Kong was handed back to China from British control in 1997, but under a unique agreement – a mini-constitution called the Basic Law and a so-called “one country, two systems” principle.
Source: BBC, AP