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Hong Kong leaders say Trump 'completely wrong' for curbing ties

Stock MarketsMay 29, 2020 11:47PM ET
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2/2 © Reuters. U.S. President Trump makes announcement about China at the White House in Washington 2/2

By Jessie Pang and Greg Torode

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Senior Hong Kong government officials lashed out on Saturday at moves by U.S. President Donald Trump to strip the city of its special status in a bid to punish China for imposing national security laws on the global financial hub.

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.

"I don't think they will succeed in using any means to threaten the (Hong Kong) government, because we believe what we are doing is right," Lee said.

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.

In some of his toughest rhetoric yet, Trump said Beijing had broken its word over Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy from Beijing, by proposing the national security legislation and that the territory no longer warranted U.S. economic privileges.

"We will take action to revoke Hong Kong's preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China," Trump said, adding that Washington would also impose sanctions on individuals seen as responsible for "smothering - absolutely smothering - Hong Kong's freedom."

Trump told reporters at the White House that China's move on Hong Kong was a tragedy for the world, but he gave no timetable for the moves, leaving Hong Kong residents, businesses and officials to ponder just how far his administration will go.

The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said Saturday marked "a sad day" for China's freest city.

"This is an emotional moment for Americans in Hong Kong and it will take companies and families a while to digest the ramifications," AmCham President Tara Joseph said in a statement.

"Many of us ... have deep ties to this city and with Hong Kong people. We love Hong Kong and it's a sad day," she said, adding the chamber would continue to work with its members to maintain Hong Kong's status as a vital business centre.

(For an explainer on how important Hong Kong is to China as a free finance hub, please click.)

China's parliament this week approved a decision to create laws for Hong Kong to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign interference. Mainland security and intelligence agents may be stationed in the city for the first time - moves critics say put the city's extensive freedoms at risk.

Authorities in Beijing and Hong Kong insist the legislation will target only a small number of "troublemakers" who threaten China’s national security. They say such action is urgently needed after months of sometimes violent anti-government protests rocked the city last year.

Protests are simmering again as Hong Kong emerges from its coronavirus shutdown. Demonstrators are expected to take to the streets on Sunday.

Trump did not name any sanctions targets but said the announcement would "affect the full range of agreements we have with Hong Kong", including the U.S.-Hong Kong extradition treaty to export controls on dual-use technologies and more "with few exceptions".

China's Global Times, published by the People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's ruling Communist Party, said Trump's decision was a "recklessly arbitrary" step.

The Hong Kong government has had a long history of working ties with U.S. counterparts, distinct from Beijing, with cooperation on counter-terrorism, trade and money laundering.

More than 1,300 U.S. firms have offices in Hong Kong and provide about 100,000 jobs. In the past decade, the U.S. trade surplus with Hong Kong has been the biggest among all its trading partners, totalling $297 billion from 2009 to 2018.

 

Hong Kong leaders say Trump 'completely wrong' for curbing ties
 

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Comments (41)
Panita Vijitraviwat
Panita Vijitraviwat Jun 01, 2020 10:35AM ET
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OMG
Alan Rice
Alan Rice May 31, 2020 5:48PM ET
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It "was a sad day for Hong Kong" when your airport became unusable, because of un-managed protestors.
Klaus Weyers
Klaus Weyers May 31, 2020 4:18AM ET
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10% of Chinese exports go to Walmart.. they should stop buying anything from red China.. and maybe the ruthless dictatorship will reconsider the beginning HK takeover
Bret Lafrance
Bret Lafrance May 30, 2020 9:05PM ET
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I was concerned of how this might play out for a moment, and then I remembered oh yeah we knew this was coming. Do you think anyone will notice, Singapore is a safer place without a cloud hanging over it.
Heather Tsai
Heather Tsai May 30, 2020 8:27PM ET
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bring down CCP
William Smith
William Smith May 30, 2020 7:24PM ET
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Those comments by the China backed Hong Kong officials means Trump is doing exactly what America should be doing.
Jimmy Chang
Jimmy Chang May 30, 2020 2:32PM ET
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Good i hope we find all the loopholes and squeeze them till they play by the agreements that they has signed.
Brady Murray
Brady Murray May 30, 2020 9:45AM ET
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Very proud of the moves the Presidential administration is taking. This will put more pressure on the Communist regime. If it comes to fruition over time the Chinese economy will be rocked as HK slowly becomes wrecked due to the mass exodus that will follow. We can no longer stand by and allow the Communists to raid the world and bully the weak. I think the WHO is being schooled right now and that is a beautiful thing. Lie and cheat us......pay the price.
Diddl One
Diddl One May 30, 2020 9:45AM ET
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I agree on all you said in your ironic comment.
Kwong To
Kwong To May 30, 2020 9:45AM ET
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I am very proud of your Trumpets. Look at what is happening in Minnesota.
James Jiang
James Jiang May 30, 2020 9:45AM ET
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have you ever considered that the government you worship is the one lies and cheats? or that is impossible
Jimmy Chang
Jimmy Chang May 30, 2020 9:45AM ET
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James Jiang are you american or chinese?
James Jiang
James Jiang May 30, 2020 9:45AM ET
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I am American Chinese that live in both countries.
Harry Wilson
Harry Wilson May 30, 2020 9:05AM ET
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we could move all of Hong Kong into Texas. brick by brick. it would be a win win situation and people would be free
Diddl One
Diddl One May 30, 2020 9:05AM ET
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Given the redneck environment, they would most likely end up like Gregory Floyd
Diddl One
Diddl One May 30, 2020 7:50AM ET
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If you agree with China or not, what people tent to forget is that China is not run by the old Russian bureaucratski type of people who had little else to their abilities than being scrupulous in order to get to the top. The US is a plutocracy and China is a meritocracy. The political figures in China are some of the most vetted and accomplished minds in the world with IQ's that puts Yale Professors to shame. People like Trump or Biden or whomever you choose in the political establishment in the US are bunglers in comparison and only the ever muscle flexing military gets their foreign policies pushed trough. For now. Unless the US President is willing to take the entire world down with him in order to see how far he can push things, the Chinese will eventually come out on top. It's just a matter of time. So everyone should take a break and be sensible with the other.
Harry Wilson
Harry Wilson May 30, 2020 7:50AM ET
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Xi is a princeling, what are you even talking about?
Diddl One
Diddl One May 30, 2020 7:50AM ET
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you have obviously not the slightest clue and feed the mainstream Media pretext. Being a so called princeling, did make his rise even more impressive as he was deemed from the wrong background fo a political career way back in his youth. All politicians who have ever commented on his person have one thing in common. He is one of the most intelligent people they have ever talked to.
Kwong To
Kwong To May 30, 2020 4:27AM ET
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Good for HK. Now China can send these protestors to work in the farms and re-educate them. Americu unt m0 the rf#c kers hv corrupted their brains.
Buzzy Jefferson
Buzzy Jefferson May 30, 2020 3:10AM ET
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"Hongkong leaders" aren't Hongkongers. They are puppets from Beijing.
Plamen Yankov
Plamen Yankov May 30, 2020 3:04AM ET
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Markets are ruled by headlines , market goes down monday now
outclass fame
outclass fame May 30, 2020 2:52AM ET
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hmmmm
Dubby Yang
Dubby Yang May 30, 2020 2:38AM ET
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"because we believe what we are doing is right"? This is Authoritarianism. 2 million Hong Kong people protested against the gov, and they still "believe" they are doing the right thing...
Space Lord
Space Lord May 30, 2020 2:15AM ET
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Trump is best Chinese leader
Chris Mallory
Chris Mallory May 30, 2020 1:56AM ET
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Trump's reelection was guaranteed tonight. Just when Democrat momentum had begun. Rerun 2016
Bow Wow
Bow Wow May 30, 2020 1:51AM ET
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If proof was needed that the PRC is run by a gaggle of neo-fascist thugs, then these laws provide that. President Xi Jinping is the modern day **** a megalomaniac driven by the desire for regional, and possible global conquest. The Chinese government can never be trusted again. They lye and lye and continue lying. They lied to Britain when they signed the Hong Kong settlement, for now under the guise of B.S security claims, they've repudiated the commitments they made to respect Hong Kong's independent judicial system, its freedom of speech and freedom of association. The rest of the civilised western world most stand united against this modern day ****like regime, it's "Munich" all over again
David David
David9 May 30, 2020 1:51AM ET
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Please tell us where you get your info...we waiting.
wong ivan
wong ivan May 30, 2020 1:51AM ET
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Do you live or work in China, or are you just talking nonsense
Brady Murray
Brady Murray May 30, 2020 1:51AM ET
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Great post bow wow! Spot on.
Wilson Huang
Wilson Huang May 30, 2020 1:23AM ET
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when sedition secession terrorism happen in the US. what would Trump do? more servere actions will only be taken by the Trump government.
Diddl One
Diddl One May 30, 2020 1:23AM ET
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Good point and didn't Trump answered that clearly when he said: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts"
Brady Murray
Brady Murray May 30, 2020 1:23AM ET
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Diddl One huh? This has nothing to do with anything. Dribble
Anthony Anthony
Anthony Anthony May 30, 2020 1:12AM ET
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Can we move on to some real news? No one gi es a chit about hong kong
Rehoboam IO
Rehoboam May 30, 2020 1:12AM ET
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Actually we do. How about you move on to other news yourself and stop trying to control what we talk about. You sound like a China apologist with that attitude.
David David
David9 May 30, 2020 12:59AM ET
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China did a right thing for it's people. The Hong Kong people spirit a uplifted and we show see a united country stand strong and tall in the face of aggressors. For 5000 years, the chinese people has stood their ground and now this period has come that the Eastern Dragon has awaken again. Ray Dalio's great research shows The Changing World order, and China is on the rise to becoming number one, as US goes down. This period will be great for the world.
Casaluna Poppi
Casaluna Poppi May 30, 2020 12:59AM ET
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China is one thing, your monolithic government another.
Jay Jung
Jay Jung May 30, 2020 12:37AM ET
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Chinese people must overthrow Xi regime which is the enemy of free world. Xi is a trouble maker who spreaded Wuhan virus. UN must punish the criminal XI.
Lester Burnham
shib May 30, 2020 12:37AM ET
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that's what i always say to chinese people too, to overthrow the government that oppress them. unfortunately, the way they have grown up with lack of religion, morals, manners etc, they are pretty much selfish. they will not risk their own lives to change the society, they just want other people to do it for them. it's not even the chinese citizens fault, it's the life time of propaganda from the CCP, and the sad truth is, as a result of it, most chinese are uncivilized and selfish.
Rehoboam IO
Rehoboam May 30, 2020 12:37AM ET
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Exactly, Xi-tler controls the military and he has no problem ending the lives of his own people to control them. Talk to Chinese in US and they will all tell you Chinese people are good but the CCP is corrupt.
Jack Zhang
Jack_A May 30, 2020 12:37AM ET
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you are wrong. Chinese love Xi. even other countries love Xi, more than Trump
Black Marcus
Black Marcus May 30, 2020 12:33AM ET
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Investing.com you are blocking every commentSo much freedom of speechYou are like twitter
Michael King
Michael King May 30, 2020 12:30AM ET
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FED is consisted of special private reserve banks. What is funny is that the privately owned FED got the privilege of printing dollars. Those printed dollars are loaned to working Americans.  But both the principal and interest of the loan eventually go to the pocket of FED share holders.  This the great America that Trump represents and has been working very hard to get his family and offspring's into or being affiliated to FED board.
Kapil Baldawa
Kapil Baldawa May 30, 2020 12:30AM ET
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US Corporates and their ppl know, even if they fail umpteen times, FED will bail them out that's why this casual approach towards money forever. High time, some rating agency shows some ***and downgrades the sovereign debt and challenge the printing ability of the US
Black Marcus
Black Marcus May 30, 2020 12:30AM ET
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No *******sleeze ball
 
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