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Pompeo calls Hong Kong law an 'affront to all nations'

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Pompeo calls Hong Kong law an 'affront to all nations'

By David Brunnstrom and Humeyra Pamuk



FILE PHOTO: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives a news conference about dealings with China and Iran, and on the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Washington, U.S., June 24, 2020. Mangel Ngan/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday the new security law China has imposed on Hong Kong was an affront to all nations and Washington would continue to implement President Donald Trump's directive to end the territory's special status.


Pompeo told a news briefing the United States was deeply concerned about the safety of everyone in Hong Kong and said Article 38 of the law passed on Tuesday purported to apply to offenses committed outside Hong Kong and likely included Americans.


"This is outrageous and an affront to all nations," he said.


Pompeo recalled that on Friday, Washington implemented visa restrictions on those responsible for the Hong Kong crackdown and on Monday announced it would end exports of defense equipment and dual-use technology through the territory.


"Free Hong Kong was one of the world's most stable, prosperous and dynamic cities. Now, now it will be just another Communist-run city where people will be subject to the party elites' whims," Pompeo said.


"We will continue to implement President Trump's directive to end Hong Kong's special status."


Asked how far Washington would go in stripping Hong Kong of its U.S. privileges, Pompeo said: "I'll just repeat what the president said: He wants to ensure that, with a handful of exceptions, Hong Kong is treated just like mainland China."


But some analysts doubt the willingness of the Trump administration to take forceful action that would have an impact on Beijing, given extensive U.S. business interests in Hong Kong and Trump's desire to maintain a trade deal reached with China this year.


"While there are a range of options for further U.S. sanctions, including tariffs, visas, and air travel, none are cost-free to U.S. interests," said Wendy Cutler, a former senior U.S. trade official.


Kurt Tong, the former U.S. consul general in Hong Kong, said it was difficult to craft responses that did not hurt Hong Kong or the United States more than they hurt China.


"I do expect President Trump to raise tariffs on Hong Kong exports, since he has already said as much. Still, such actions are unlikely to deter Beijing," he said.


"More dramatic options, such as somehow attacking Hong Kong’s policy of pegging its currency to the U.S. dollar, do not seem practical," he added.


Pompeo also highlighted a U.S. business advisory issued on Wednesday warning about "reputational, economic, and legal risks" of doing business with entities linked to abuses in China's Xinjiang region.


Pompeo reiterated concerns about what he called "deeply disturbing reports" that China was imposing a policy of forced sterilization on Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.


"We call on all nations, women's advocates, religious groups and human rights organizations to stand up for the Chinese people's basic human dignity," he said.


U.S. officials have told Reuters previously that global human rights sanctions have long been in the works against senior Chinese officials, including a politburo member who is also regional Communist Party chief. But the measures have yet to imposed.


Trump told the Axios news website earlier this month he held off approving such sanctions because of concern it would interfere with trade negotiations with Beijing.


The United Nations estimates more than a million Muslims have been detained in camps in Xinjiang. The State Department has accused China of subjecting them to torture and abuse.


China has denied mistreatment and says the camps provide vocational training and help fight extremism.


(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, Arshad Mohammed, Susan Heavey, Matt Spetalnick and David Brunnstrom; Editing by Dan Grebler and Jonathan Oatis)



-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-07-03
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7 minutes ago, Mama Noodle said:

Stories of the UK granting citizenship to loads of HK citizens who dont want to live under Chinas boot. 


USA should grant the same. People fighting for freedom of speech and freedom to protest would make fantastic Americans. 


China sucks, Hong Kongers should be welcomed with open arms in all western nations. 

USA already did same for Vietnamese... and whoever was left, became Gulag fodder for retraining camps 

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1 minute ago, billd766 said:

Not really. Nowadays the USA seems ready to poke its collective nose into every other countries business without asking or thinking through any responses, before offering a response.


IMHO under Trump and Pompeo the USA is losing friends and allies world wide and it seems to be driving itself into isolation from the rest of the world.


After Trump departs the scene, it will take the new (and hopefully responsible) years and decades if ever, from the damage Trump has brought upon the USA.


All hail China, right?

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Be careful what you say, you may be breaking the law no matter where you are or where you're from.  Below is an extract from the English version.


Part 6 Scope of Application

Article 36 This Law shall apply to offences under this Law which are committed in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region by any person. An offence shall be deemed to have been committed in the Region if an act constituting the offence or the consequence of the offence occurs in the Region.

This Law shall also apply to offences under this Law committed on board a vessel or aircraft registered in the Region.

Article 37 This Law shall apply to a person who is a permanent resident of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or an incorporated or unincorporated body such as a company or an organisation which is set up in the Region if the person or the body commits an offence under this Law outside the Region.

Article 38 This Law shall apply to offences under this Law committed against the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region from outside the Region by a person who is not a permanent resident of the Region.

Article 39 This Law shall apply to acts committed after its entry into force for the purpose of conviction and imposition of punishment.

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29 minutes ago, JCauto said:

I think it may have been you whom I was responding too way back when at the start of the protests once your revered "Leader" had started with his far-sighted strategy of demonizing the protesters and encouraging the Police to take the truncheons out. At that time I noted that "Hong Kong is lost", since the USA had just taken all of the leverage they'd built carefully over decades and tossed it in the trash for transitory political expediency, thereby sacrificing HK for nothing. Congratulations! So much winning...

Nothing new really.  The world did the same thing to Tibet.

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I often wonder why, if one good sniper could take out so many of the politburo that it has not been done yet?

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