Beijing: China has said it would retaliate after US President Donald Trump ordered an end to preferential trade treatment for Hong Kong and signed a legislation to punish China for its ‘aggressive actions’.
China’s foreign ministry said in a statement that it “firmly opposes and strongly condemns” the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which unanimously passed the US Congress earlier this month and approves sanctions on Chinese officials and banks over Beijing’s clampdown in Hong Kong.
“China will make necessary responses to protect its legitimate interests, and impose sanctions on relevant US personnel and entities,” the ministry added.
The US has been paring back Hong Kong’s special status over the last few weeks.
“No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technology,” Trump said in a news conference at the White House.
The territory, a former British colony, enjoys unique freedoms not seen in mainland China.
The legislation – which outlaws criticism of China’s government – is the most sweeping change to the political landscape of Hong Kong since it was handed back to China by the UK in 1997.
He told reporters that the Hong Kong Autonomy Act would hold China accountable for what he called the “oppressive” national security law it imposed on Hong Kong.
Trump also said when asked by a journalist that he had no plans to speak to Chinese President Xi Jinping.