US President Donald Trump issued an executive order on Tuesday which ended trade preferences with Hong Kong. He also signed a law that imposes sanctions on Chinese officials, businesses and banks that help China restrict Hong Kong’s autonomy.
The law had been passed with bipartisan support in Congress earlier this month.
In a news conference held in the White House Rose Garden, Trump said Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China — “no special privileges, no special economic treatment and no export of sensitive technologies.”
“Their freedom has been taken away; their rights have been taken away. And with it goes Hong Kong, in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets. A lot of people will be leaving Hong Kong,” he added.
End to special treatment
The executive order calls for blocking the US property of any person determined to be responsible for or complicit in “actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Hong Kong.” A document released by the White House also states US officials can “revoke license exceptions for exports to Hong Kong,” and the order revokes special treatment for Hong Kong passport holders.