In response to China’s aggressive move to impose a new national security law on Hong Kong that would further the Chinese Communist Party’s control of what is supposed to be an independent legal system, the Trump administration is now publicly threatening to impose economic sanctions on both Hong Kong and China.
In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, White House national security adviser Robert O’Brien said the administration is likely to revoke Hong Kong’s special status in response to China’s increased interference in the administrative region and impose sanctions, what he suggested would be a “real blow” to the communist regime.
As The Daily Wire reported, Chinese authorities announced on Friday a new law cracking down on what the regime deems acts of “sedition” or “subversion.” The law would empower Hong Kong law enforcement to arrest residents connected to Hong Kong’s pro-democracy, anti-China movement at the behest of the Chinese government, effectively bypassing Hong Kong’s independent legislature and chief executive.
The end of the “one country, two systems” framework — established when Hong Kong was released by the United Kingdom in 1997 — would also end Hong Kong’s role as a “financial center” in the region, O’Brien suggested on Sunday. If China is effectively taking over the administrative region, the U.S. is likely to revoke Hong Kong’s special status and impose sanctions, O’Brien warned.
Citing what he predicts will be a “brain drain” in the region as members of Hong Kong’s financial community move out of the area, O’Brien said he doesn’t see how Hong Kong’s current status as an economic center will hold. “It’s hard to see how Hong Kong could remain the Asian financial center that it’s become if China takes over,” said O’Brien, as reported by Axios.
“One reason that [members of the financial community] came to Hong Kong is because there was the rule of law there, there was a free enterprise system, there was a capitalist system, there was democracy and local legislative elections,” the national security adviser explained. “If all those things go away, I’m not sure how the financial community can stay there.”
Asked if sanctions will significantly impact China, O’Brien noted that the communist regime country is “dependent on capital from the rest of the world” and “liquidity in financial markets.”
“If they lose access of that through Hong Kong, that’s a real blow to Xi Jinping and the Chinese Communist Party,” he said.
China’s moves to further violate Hong Kong’s independence comes amid increased pushback from pro-Democracy protesters in the region.
“As Hong Kong suffered through lockdowns, there were indications that China would use the pandemic as cover for more intensive missions to undermine the island democracy and impose Chinese authority,” The Daily Wire reported Sunday. Overnight Saturday and into Sunday, protests broke out, thousands of protesters taking to the streets of Hong Kong. In response, authorities promptly and aggressively cracked down, police firing tear gas into the crowds, citing protesters’ failure to receive official authorization amid the city’s “social distancing” restrictions.
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