By Duncan Smith
President Donald Trump was multitasking again on Friday as he often does, keeping an eye on events in Minneapolis while meeting with business leaders to discuss revitalizing the post-coronavirus economy.
All while taking a series of punitive diplomatic actions.
The president announced Friday afternoon he will be revoking Hong Kong’s special status following a crackdown on the city’s semi-autonomous status by the authoritarian Chinese Communist government.
The Epoch Times reports:
The move came a day after Beijing pressed ahead with enacting a national security law in Hong Kong, a move that critics said could endanger Hong Kong's status as a global financial hub.
The United States previously treated Hong Kong as a separate entity from mainland China in the areas of trade, investment, and immigration, and has meant that current U.S. tariffs on billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods do not apply to Hong Kong.
At a White House press conference on China policies, Trump said that he will revoke Hong Kong's special status, and will update U.S. travel advisories, 'to reflect the increased danger of surveillance and punishment by the Chinese state security apparatus' following the law's approval.
The administration will also 'take necessary steps' to sanction Chinese and Hong Kong officials 'directly or indirectly involved in eroding Hong Kong's autonomy,' he said. The announcement will also impact a range of U.S. agreements with Hong Kong, including export controls, an extradition treaty, and customs.
Hong Kong was a British possession until it reverted back to Chinese control in 1997, when Beijing pledged to enact a “one country, two systems” framework.
'China has replaced its promised formula, 'one country, two systems,' with 'one country, one system,'' Trump said, adding that Beijing's latest law is 'diminishing the city's long-standing and very proud status.'
'This is a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, the people of China, and indeed the people of the world,' he said.
The Hong Kong initiative comes after the president announced he was pulling the U.S. out of the World Health Organization because the international agency conspired with the Chinese government to hide the deadly nature of COVID-19.
Trending Politics reports:
President Donald Trump has made good on another threat: He is pulling the United States out of the World Health Organization following the discovery that the organization bent to China's will and helped Beijing cover up the coronavirus outbreak for weeks.
In comments Friday, the president, who was initially speaking about the incident surrounding the death of Minneapolis resident George Floyd and the resulting rioting, noted that the WHO 'failed to make the requested and greatly needed' reforms in order to continue receiving U.S. taxpayer dollars.
The move comes after Trump cut off funding to the WHO in April, then threatened to pull out completely earlier this month.
Not only the pandemic kill more than 100,000 Americans, it panicked U.S. leaders to adopt restrictive stay-at-home policies that closed down businesses, threw 40 million-plus people out of work, and cratered the red-hot U.S. economy.
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