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China will likely face U.S. sanctions over Hong Kong national security laws, White House says

By | Rachel Brooks

Staff | Telegraph Local 

See | The New African Living Standard

Trump’s National Security Advisor OBrien on Arirang News broadcast.

China will likely face U.S. sanctions over the new Hong Kong national security laws, the White House has stated. This decision follows recent elections in Hong Kong that reflect Beijing-centric policy and Beijing control. Some have called it the effective end of the “one country to systems” approach to Chinese governance. CNBC reported on May 24 that new draft legislation represents a Beijing takeover of Hong Kong. CNBC cited White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien as its source. CNBC also cites Joshua Wong, a Hong Kong activist, who states that Beijing’s new national security policy against Hong Kong is directly retaliation for the protests against the government over the past year. 

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MarketWatch has likewise corroborated reports that the U.S. will sanction China further if the legislation passes. MarketWatch cited a top Trump aide as their source. Robert O’Brien warns that the financial industry could likely evacuate the city in the wake of these new sanctions. 

MarketWatch made a note that O’Brien appeared on NBC’s “Meet The Press” on Sunday morning and made comments to that effect. China will likely face sanctions for violating the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was passed by the U.S. Congress in 2019. It was approved by President Trump. It proceeds as follows:

“This bill addresses Hong Kong’s status under U.S. law and imposes sanctions on those responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong. (Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.)

The Department of State shall certify annually to Congress as to whether Hong Kong warrants its unique treatment under various treaties, agreements, and U.S. law. The analysis shall evaluate whether Hong Kong is upholding the rule of law and protecting rights enumerated in various documents, including (1) the agreement between the United Kingdom and China regarding Hong Kong’s return to China, and (2) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The bill extends existing annual reporting requirements on matters of U.S. interest in Hong Kong through 2027 and expands such reports to include assessments of (1) limits to Hong Kong’s autonomy, either self-imposed or due to China’s actions; and (2) whether rescission of Hong Kong’s special treatment would further erode Hong Kong’s autonomy.

The President shall annually report to Congress on Hong Kong’s enforcement of U.S. export controls, including whether items of U.S. origin have been used for mass surveillance in China and whether Hong Kong has been used to evade sanctions on North Korea or Iran.

The State Department shall notify Congress if any proposed or enacted law in Hong Kong negatively impacts U.S. interests, including by putting U.S. citizens at risk of rendition to China.

The President shall impose property and visa-blocking sanctions on foreign persons responsible for gross human rights violations in Hong Kong,” reads the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, as quoted by Congress.gov.

The U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has had strong criticism for the People’s Republic of China over the course of the past few days. On May 22, he “condemned” the national security legislation. 

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“The United States condemns the PRC proposal to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong and strongly urges Beijing to reconsider. We stand with the people of Hong Kong,” said Pompeo via Twitter. 

Others in American policy were also swift to condemn the actions of Beijing. The National Interest’s Michael Rubin called it the “path to self-destruction.” Rubin compared Xi’s new legislation against Hong Kong to treating a chest wound with a band-aid. The protests and uprising of the Hong Kong people will likely be infectious throughout China, in Rubin’s analysis. 

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