CHINA, HK GOV’T BLAST US THREATS OF SANCTIONS, TRADE BANS
China’s state media and the government of Hong Kong lashed out on Sunday at US President Donald Trump’s vow to end Hong Kong’s special status if Beijing imposes new national security laws on the city, which is bracing for fresh protests.
Trump on Friday pledged to “take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory” and to impose sanctions on unspecified individuals over Beijing’s new laws on the Asian financial center, reported James Pomfret and Stella Qiu for Reuters on June 1, 2020. The US government said it would put one of its prime Hong Kong properties up for sale - a luxury residential complex worth up to HK$5 billion ($650 million).
But China’s state media pushed back, saying this would hurt the United States more than China. “The baton of sanctions that the United States is brandishing will not scare Hong Kong and will not bring China down,” China’s Communist Party mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, wrote in a commentary. It used the pen name “Zhong Sheng”, meaning “Voice of China”, often used to give the paper’s view on foreign policy issues.
The Global Times wrote “China has already prepared for the worst. No matter how far the U.S. goes, China will keep its company.” A Hong Kong government spokesman expressed regret that the US continued to “smear and demonise the legitimate rights and duty of our sovereign” to safeguard national security.