China’s government threatens the U.S. with a ‘counterattack’ after Donald Trump announced sanctions and restrictions against Chinese interests because of the crisis in Hong Kong.
PEKIN China (Efe) – In the last few days, Trump has threatened a series of sanctions and restrictions against China because of a controversial national security law imposed by Beijing in Hong Kong.
In a new escalation between the two giants, China today threatened the United States with a “counterattack” after President Donald Trump announced a series of sanctions and restrictions against Chinese interests.
This is Beijing’s first reaction to the measures announced Friday by the U.S. president. All this takes place in a context of strong bilateral tensions around the semi-autonomous territory of Hong Kong, the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation of Uyghur Muslims in northwest China, or bilateral trade.
“Any statement or action that harms China’s interests will be met with a strong counterattack,” Zhao Lijian, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, told reporters.
In a statement with a firm tone but without too many details, Donald Trump announced Friday that he was suspending the entry into the United States of Chinese citizens who represent a potential “risk” to the country’s security.
The Republican also called on his administration to end preferential trade measures for Hong Kong, denouncing a controversial national security law imposed by Beijing on the British autonomous territory and former colony.
Trump also called for investigations into Chinese companies listed in the United States.
“China urges the United States to remedy these mistakes and abandon its Cold War mentality immediately,” Zhao Lijian said at a press conference.
The catalyst for this series of measures seems to be the controversial national security law that China wants to impose on Hong Kong, believing it to be a covert way of silencing opposition and restricting freedoms in the territory, the scene of massive and often violent pro-democracy demonstrations in 2019
The handover of Hong Kong was made in the name of the principle of “One country, two systems” which allowed the former British colony to preserve freedoms unknown in China, such as an independent judiciary, freedom of expression and a partially elected parliament by universal suffrage, as well as others in the economic field.
These exceptions have led many countries, such as the United States, to pass laws authorizing them to treat Hong Kong as a separate business entity from the Chinese regime.
“China has not kept its word to guarantee Hong Kong’s autonomy,” Trump said Friday. “This is a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, the people of China and the people of the world,” he added.
The U.S. president announced that he wants to end the exemptions granted to Hong Kong as part of their special relationship. “All the measures announced by Trump constitute a severe interference in China’s internal affairs,” Zhao Lijian said on Monday.
The spokesman took the opportunity to compare the demonstrations in Hong Kong and those taking place in several cities in the United States, following the death of a black citizen by the police.
Initiated in Minneapolis, the movement spread throughout the country, where thousands of citizens demonstrated against police violence.
Why does the United States treat supporters of violence and Hong Kong’s independence as heroes and call those who speak out against racism ‘mutineers,'” questioned Zhao Lijian.
“The U.S. response to the demonstrations against police violence is a “prototypical case of double standards worldwide,” said the Chinese spokesman, who also denounced the “chronic disease” of racism in the U.S.