US to Strip Hong Kong of Special Status to Punish China: Trump

This decision will strip Hong Kong of special trade status and tariff relief it got from the US.

2 min read

US President Donal Trump has ordered his administration to remove the special treatment given to Hong Kong and to bar some Chinese students studying in the US as a sign of retaliation against the Chinese government’s move to exert political control over Hong Kong.

“The Chinese government moves against Hong Kong is the latest in a series of measures that are 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,” Trump said on Friday, 29 May, at the White House.

No Special Treatment for Hong Kong

Though Hong Kong has never been a democracy, Beijing agreed to maintain the modest degree of representative government instituted by the British colonial authorities in the late 1980s as they prepared for the handover of sovereignty to China.

But China's government has shown growing impatience with the existing arrangement following months of sometimes-violent anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong.

The new law as per Trump reduces the autonomy that Hong Kong has enjoyed since rejoining the mainland in 1997 under the "one country, two systems" formula.

This move against Hong Kong could make products from the country subject to the same tariffs the US has levied on Chinese imports.

Trump also said that the US was also terminating its relationship with the World Health Organisation due to the allegedly biased nature of management the WHO has had during its management of the COVID-19 crisis.

The United States along with Britain raised concerns with the UN Security Council over a new security law for Hong Kong which angered the Beijing government as it believes the issue has no place in the world body.

Restrictions on Chinese Students

In another move that can have consequences in the longer run, Trump has also issued an order to ban Chinese graduate students who have connections with the Chinese military at US universities

“For years, the government of China has conducted elicit espionage to steal our industrial secrets, of which there are many," Trump said.

As per an NDTV report, the Federal Bureau of Investigation in February said it was investigating 1,000 cases of Chinese economic espionage and technological theft.

The report also says that US universities house almost 3,70,000 students although this decision from Trump will not affect them directly.

(With inputs from IANS)

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