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China to sanction US in retaliation for legislation on Hong Kong

China to sanction US in retaliation for legislation on Hong Kong

DPA
Beijing/Washington
China says it will impose sanctions in retaliation for US legislation ending Hong Kong’s special trade status with the United States, in the growing escalation between the world’s two largest economies.
China “firmly opposes and strongly condemns” the US for signing the Hong Kong Autonomy Act into law, a statement on the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s website said on Wednesday.
China will impose sanctions on US personnel and entities, the statement added.
Meanwhile, The Chinese Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador Terry Branstad to protest the Hong Kong position. Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang accused the US of interfering in China’s internal affairs.
US President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed legislation that can pave the way for his administration to 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. 
Separately, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo imposed visa restriction on workers at unnamed Chinese technology companies that “provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights abuses globally.”
The sanctions include employees of Huawei, the Chinese tech giant that is facing numerous points of pressure from the US, including Washington angling to squeeze it out of Western nations’ 5G networks.
The US president in May announced his move to revoke Hong Kong’s special status, citing China’s response to the pandemic. 
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.
On Wednesday, the president of Hong Kong’s legislative council (LegCo) rejected calls for lawmakers to debate the US decision.
A lawmaker for Civic Passion, Cheng Chung Tai, told LegCo President Andrew Leung that the move has affected the social, economic and livelihood interests of Hong Kong, during Wednesday’s parliamentary session.
But Leung said there was no need to debate the matter since Trump had already signed the executive order, and told lawmakers to follow up through “different channels” in what was the final meeting of LegCo’s current session. The chamber is scheduled to resume on August 25.

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