Washington, 15 July 2020 (dpa/MIA) – 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, called the Hong Kong Accountability Act, 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 US 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.