China’s parliament is tomorrow widely expected to approve legislation which would dramatically curtail Hong Kong’s separate legal status on Thursday, undermining the “one country, two systems” principle which has up to now governed relations between the region, population 7.5 million, and the rest of China. Responding yesterday at the White House to a question about whether he planned sanctions against China, and whether he would put restrictions on viasa for students and researchers from the country, Mr Trump said: “We’re doing something now. “I think you’ll find it very interesting. I’ll be talking about it over the next couple of days.
Asked whether he was specifically referring to sanctions, he added: “No it’s something you’re going to be hearing about before the end of the week, very powerfully I think.”
Speaking earlier White House spokeswoman, Kayleigh McEnany said Mr Trump was unhappy at the proposed law and doubtful about the possibility of Hong Kong remaining as a key financial hub if the changes were introduced.
Also speaking yesterday, Mr Trump’s economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, called Beijing’s actions “very disturbing”.
He said: “China is making a big mistake, frankly.”
The US was attempting to lure US companries back from Hong Kong and China’s mainland, Mr Kudlow said, addeding: “We will do what we can for full expensing and pay the cost of moving if they return their supply chains and their production to the United States.”
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week the proposed legislation would be the “death knell” for the territory’s autonomy.
He urged Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “make it clear that what we are seeing is a complete destruction of the Joint Declaration”.
Mr Patten, the former Tory MP for Bath until losing his seat in the 1992 election, explained: ““China cheats, it tries to screw things in its own favor, and if you ever point this out their ‘wolf warrior’ diplomats try to bully and hector you into submission.
“It’s got to stop otherwise the world is going to be a much less safe place and liberal democracy around the world is going to be destabilised.
“Britain has a moral, economic and legal duty to stand up for Hong Kong.
“The real danger is that we are entirely limp on this. We have obligations because we signed the agreement.
“If we don’t have any responsibilities for the people of Hong Kong and their way of life, who do we have responsibility for?”
Mr Patten and former Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind are among 191 parliamentarians and policymakers from 23 countries to issue a statement condemning Beijing’s “unilateral introduction of national security legislation in Hong Kong”.
Mr Rikfind, who is patron for NGO Hong Kong Watch, said: “This is the most serious threat to the people of Hong Kong that there has been from the Chinese Government since 1997.
“The people of Hong Kong need, and deserve, our support.”
Published at Wed, 27 May 2020 08:05:00 +0000