Major health groups raise alarm over U.S

Daniel Fowler
May 31, 2020

Elsa Li, 48, a marketing executive and mother of one, said she converted most of her family's savings into U.S. dollars, sold her Hong Kong and China shares and bought USA stocks, as soon as the news of the national security law emerged.

Speaking hours after Trump said the city no longer warranted economic privileges and some officials could face sanctions, security minister John Lee told reporters that Hong Kong's government could not be threatened and would push ahead with the new laws.

Mr Trump added this would impact the "full range" of agreements with Hong Kong including extradition, export controls, dual-use technology and Hong Kong's treatment as a separate customs territory from mainland China.

In regard to the sanctions and trade restrictions against Hong Kong, the government believes they're not justified.

Justice minister Teresa Cheng said the basis for Trump's actions was "completely false and wrong", saying the need for national security laws were legal and necessary.

The new laws will uphold China's longstanding "One Country, Two Systems" framework and the Hong Kong Basic Law - the region's constitution.

Trump said the US will revoke Hong Kong's special customs status, suspend entry to the USA for some individuals deemed "security risks" and impose sanctions against certain Chinese and Hong Kong officials. "We will always stand with the freedom-loving people of Hong Kong and for our shared democratic values", said Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Texas), GOP leader of the Foreign Affairs Committee, in a press release.

Saturday's editorial in the People's Daily newspaper said it is the "firm determination of all Chinese people" to oppose interference in Hong Kong affairs by any external forces.

"When you look at what Trump announced, China must be relieved because there is not much substance in there", said Minxin Pei, an expert on U.S.

Attack on Taiwan an option to stop independence, top China general says
Last month, a man threw red paint at Lam , just days before the reopening of his "Causeway Bay Books" in central Taipei. Hong Kong and Taiwan have become increasingly tense flash points in China's relationship with Washington.

"Because they have failed to make the requested and greatly needed reforms, we will today be terminating our relationship with the World Health Organisation and redirecting those funds to other worldwide and deserving urgent global public health needs", he said.

China has been the top source of foreign students to the United States for the past decade with almost 370,000 Chinese at U.S. universities, although Trump's order will not directly affect undergraduates.

Former Hong Kong chief executive C Y Leung said as much over the weekend, hinting in an interview that vigils commemorating the Tiananmen Square Massacre are likely to be outlawed in Hong Kong going forward. Details of the law has not been unveiled but it will ban both "behavior and activities" that endanger national security.The legislation, aimed at stamping out protests that have racked the city for the past year, would ban "any acts or activities" that endanger China's national security, including separatism, subversion and terrorism - charges often used in mainland China to silence dissidents and other political opponents.

© Dan Peled/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock University of Queensland student and activist Drew Pavlou, center, takes part in a protest in support of Hong Kong outside the Chinese Consulate in Brisbane, Australia, on May 30, 2020. "The president's decision to leave the World Health Organization is very troubling, in both the short- and long-terms, and we hope the decision is soon reversed".

Trump's order could also trigger retaliation.

Trump's announcement received a mixed response from prominent US lawmakers.

Matters came to a head in recent days when the Chinese legislature voted to pass the National Security Law which effectively circumvents the city's autonomous legislative process.

Hong Kong is exempt from the tariffs applied to goods from the mainland, and the US has a large trade surplus with the territory.

Hong Kong is only one of many issues in the two countries' relations, and it is not yet the major battleground.

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