China's parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a new controversial security law for Hong Kong, a move that critics say threatens the fundamental political freedoms and civil liberties in the semi-autonomous territory, also a major global trading hub.
Britain, meanwhile, is prepared to offer extended visa rights and a pathway to citizenship for nearly 3 million Hong Kong residents in response to China's push to impose national security legislation in the former British colony.
"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".
"The United States is resolute, and calls upon all UN members states to join us in demanding that the PRC immediately reverse course and honor its global legal commitments to this institution and to the Hong Kong people", said US Ambassador Kelly Craft, referring to the People's Republic of China. "Hong Kong is part of China and the central government has the right to establish a national-level legal system to implement "one country, two systems", Zhao said". The situation has been seen as fundamental to Hong Kong's role as an attractive investment destination and worldwide financial hub.
"I expect him to take some major steps that would show China he is serious, but not to change every U.S. law that applies to Hong Kong", he said.
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.
While addressing the breifing in the White House Rose Garden, US President Donald Trump said the US will be terminating relationship with the WOrld Health Organisation (WHO) right away. "Hong Kong is a contributor to tens of billions of U.S. trade surplus each year and the city is closely connected with the interests of many big American companies", it said.
He mentioned extradition treaty and export controls as two areas that would be affected, saying that there would be "few exceptions". We welcome USA business communities to continue making more progress and success in Hong Kong.
Beijing's resolve appeared to have been hardened by months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong that frequently led to violent confrontations between police and the largely youthful demonstrators. "Any sanctions are a double-edged sword that will not only harm the interests of Hong Kong but also significantly those of the USA", it said late on Thursday.
Such attempts to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs would not scare the Chinese people and were doomed not to succeed, it said, without explicitly naming the United States. In the past decade, the USA trade surplus to Hong Kong reached Dollars 297 billion, he said.
The Republican party have been clamoring to throw out Chinese students enrolled in sensitive fields.
But any move to deter students is unwelcome for United States universities, which rely increasingly on tuition from foreigners and have already been hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdown.
Trump has become less enthusiastic about the significance of the so-called phase one deal as the coronavirus pandemic devastates the US economy, triggering concerns that he may seek to terminate the hard-fought accord. China in March expelled USA journalists after the Trump administration tightened visa rules for staff at Chinese state media.
"If China continues down this path and implements this national security legislation, we will remove that six month limit and allow those BNO passport holders to come to the United Kingdom and to apply to work and study for extendable periods of 12 months and that will itself provide a pathway to future citizenship", he said.