On July 15, U.S President Donald Trump ended the high degree of autonomy granted to Hong Kong by its former colony Britain in 1997 when the city attained its independence. Hong Kong was supposed to receive the special treatment for a period of 50 years after independence.
Trump’s termination comes a week after China’s parliament passes a controversial security bill concerning Hong Kong.
U.S Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been warning China against meddling in affairs of Hong Kong, late last month Pompeo made it clear that Trump’s administration was assessing if Hong Kong deserves special treatment by United States.
President Trump said termination of Hong Kong’s special treatment is meant to punish against what he terms as oppressive actions by China towards Hong Kong. On the receiving end China promised to retaliate by imposing sanctions on U.S.
President Trump signed an executive order that will terminate special economic treatment to Hong Kong. Additionally, Trump also signed another bill passed by Congress penalizing banks which will conduct transactions with Chinese officials involved in implementing the controversial security bill.
“Today I signed legislation, and an executive order to hold China accountable for its aggressive actions against the people of Hong Kong. No special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies. Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China,” said Trump.
On the receiving end, China’s foreign ministry said the country will impose retaliatory sanctions against U.S government officials and entities involved in drafting and legislation of the law targeting banks.
“Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no foreign country has the right to interfere,” added the ministry.