President Donald Trump has announced his latest response to an action by China’s government.
According to Reuters, the president confirmed during a news conference at the White House on Tuesday that he has signed an executive order aimed at holding China “accountable” for the national security restrictions it recently imposed on Hong Kong.
He cited China’s “aggressive actions against the people of Hong Kong” as a motivating factor for his administration’s response.
“Powerful new tools”
As part of Trump’s executive order, he put an end to Hong Kong’s special status under United States law.
Fox News explained that any entity found to be involved in “actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Hong Kong” would be prevented from accessing U.S. property and would allow officials to “revoke license exceptions for exports to Hong Kong.”
The order also included the revocation of special treatment for Hong Kong passport holders.
Additionally, Trump reportedly signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act into law, which will penalize banks that do business with Chinese officials.
“This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom,” Trump said, according to a transcript provided by the White House. “We’ve all watched what happened. Not a good situation. Their freedom has been taken away. Their rights have been taken away. And with it, goes Hong Kong, in my opinion, because it will no longer be able to compete with free markets.”
“We just lost one competitor”
The U.S. response comes weeks after China’s government passed a law designed to punish “acts of subversion, separatism, and collusion with federal forces,” as the Washington Examiner noted.
That law was passed just before Hong Kong’s independence day as an apparent method of suppressing ongoing protests against the communist regime. While the Trump administration’s move targets Hong Kong, its impact is intended to be felt most severely by China.
“A lot of people will be leaving Hong Kong,” the president said Tuesday, adding that the U.S. is “going to do a lot more business because of it, because we just lost one competitor.”
While China is expected to make a retaliatory move this week, it seems clear that the Trump White House is ready to react to any foreign provocation.