China likely to face US sanctions over Hong Kong national security bill
The US government is likely to sanction China if Beijing goes ahead with the signing of the national security law that will give it stricter control of Hong Kong.
According to White House National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, the draft legislation represents a takeover of Hong Kong, he said on Sunday.
He also added that as a consequence US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would likely be unable to certify that the city maintains a “high degree” of autonomy.
This would result in the imposition of sanctions against China under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, O’Brien said.
O’Brien also warned that Hong Kong risks losing its status as a major hub for global finance as it was initially set there because of the rule of law that protected free enterprise and a capitalist system.
“It’s hard to see how Hong Kong could remain the Asian financial center that it’s become if China takes over,” O’Brien told NBC.
“If all those things go away, I’m not sure how the financial community can stay there. ...They’re not going to stay in Hong Kong to be dominated by the People’s Republic of China, the communist party.”
The bill comes after a series of protests last year threatened to free Hong Kong from Chinese control.
The document presented on Friday in Beijing said that activities “have seriously challenged the bottom line of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle, harmed the rule of law, and threatened national sovereignty, security and development interests,” according to Xinhua news agency.