Trump slaps more sanctions on China, says no hope on trade
President Trump signed legislation and an executive order yesterday aimed at punishing China, and members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), for violating an agreement that guaranteed Hong Kong’s autonomy until at least 2047.
“The legislation Trump signed into law targets police units that have cracked down on Hong Kong protesters as well as Chinese Communist Party officials responsible for imposing a new, strict national security law widely seen as chipping away at Hong Kong’s autonomy,” reports the Associated Press. “The mandatory sanctions are also required to be imposed on banks that conduct business with the officials.”
The U.S. also stripped Hong Kong of its status as a special trading partner of the U.S. and instead lumps the island city into the same status as just another Chinese city as far as trade is concerned.
The two orders are a continuation of the previous action the country has taken in light of revelations about Chinese theft of U.S. intellectual property, Chinese spying in the U.S., the Chinese cover-up over the outbreak of COVID-19 and human rights violations.
The legislation also allows the president to level sanctions on individual Chinese officials that have participated in human rights violations, including the oppression of Hong Kong.
China’s Foreign Ministry responded by tweeting: “The US signed into law the so-called ‘Hong Kong Autonomy Act’ and threatens to sanction China. It seriously violates international law & basic norms of international relations and interferes in China’s internal affairs. We’ll respond & sanction relevant US individuals & entities.”
Previously, China had announced unspecified sanctions against prominent Republicans, including Sens. Marco Rubio (FL) and Ted Cruz (TX) who are fierce anti-CCP critics.
“The Chinese Communist Party is terrified and lashing out,” Cruz responded. “They forced over one million Uighurs into concentration camps and engaged in ethnic cleansing, including horrific forced abortions and sterilizations. These are egregious human rights atrocities that cannot be tolerated.”
Trump has said there is very little hope that China will live up to the trade agreement that was signed in January.
“We made a great trade deal,” Trump said, according to Reuters. “But as soon as the deal was done, the ink wasn’t even dry, and they hit us with the plague.”
China has been selectively banning foods from Western countries due to what they say are coronavirus concerns, but in reality are more likely retaliatory measures against countries, including the U.S., that have been vocal critics of China on Hong Kong, human rights and coronavirus.
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