US President, Donald Trump on Friday, launched a blistering attack on China,
announcing a string of unprecedented actions against the communist state, that brings the US- China relationship to an all time low.
Trump appeared in the White House Rose Garden on a day when the US hit 100,000 deaths in the Coronavirus pandemic he has largely blamed on China, casting Beijing as an existential geopolitical threat as he announced retaliatory measures towards China
for violation of Hong Kong’s freedoms, destroying American factories, stealing trade and technology secrets, threatening freedom of navigation in the Pacific Ocean, and controlling the World Health Organization’s activities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
From Trump’s statements, the US will now see China as a foe in the months heading to the November 2020 Presidential elections.
“They’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before,” Trump said of China, “raided our factories” and “gutted” American industry’
Trump called out China for “espionage to steal our industrial secrets, of which there are many,”
He also announced steps to protect American investors and businessmen from Chinese financial practices while accusing Beijing of “unlawfully claiming territory in the Pacific Ocean”
Trump, standing up to Beijing, that he has tried to pander to since becoming president, also blasted Beijing for passing a national security law that undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Trump says from now henceforth the US will treat Hong Kong the way it treats the rest of China by stripping Hong Kong of the special policy measures on extradition, trade, travel and customs Washington had previously granted it.
The President said the US would also take more action including barring “certain foreign nationals from China” from entering the US and sanctioning officials in China and Hong Kong for their direct or indirect role in “smothering” Hong Kong’s freedoms, while also suggesting the US will reduce the number of Chinese nationals that come to the US to study.
Trump’s direct attacks on China has been a long time coming as over the years Trump has complained about China’s trade policies, China’s use of Huawei telecommunications to spy on countries, Chinese media, student visas, clashes and power flexings in the South China Sea, China’s alleged creation of coronavirus in a Wuhan lab and most recently, new laws passed by China that erases Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Hong Kong was handed over from the UK to China in 1997 under an agreement that was meant to preserve Hong Kong’s autonomy in domestic matters, including the judiciary, and ensure its citizens could vote for their leaders, but the new laws would basically end all of that.
“This week China unilaterally imposed control over Hong Kong security,” Trump said Friday.
“A plain violation of Beijing’s treaty obligations with the United Kingdom.”
“As a result Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous to warrant the special treatment that we have afforded the territory” and his administration would “begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment.”
According to Trump, his new move will impact the “full range” of agreements the US has with Hong Kong, including their extradition treaty, preferential customs and travel status, export controls on dual use technologies and more, Trump said.