Trump orders his administration to begin eliminating Hong Kong privileges

Hong Kong riot police fire tear gas as hundreds of protesters march along a downtown street during a pro-democracy protest against Beijing's national security legislation in Hong Kong on May 24. — AP

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"This legislation risks curtailing the freedoms that China has undertaken to uphold as a matter of global law", the UK's acting UN Ambassador, Jonathan Allen, said after the council discussion.

Addressing reporters at White House, Trump said, "They have ripped off the United States as no one has ever done before".

Referring to the unilateral Chinese action control over Hong Kong security, Trump said that this was a plain violation of Beijing's treaty obligations with the United Kingdom in the declaration of 1984 and explicit provisions of Hong Kong's basic law which has 27 years to go.

Dr Wang Huiyao, president of the Centre for China and Globalisation and an adviser to China's Cabinet, said Mr Trump's announcements were a political gambit to shift blame to China.

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., a prominent Senate veteran and chair of the chamber's health committee, pushed back at President Donald Trump's decision Friday to pull the United States from the World Health Organization.

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However, the New York Times reports that 40,000 people entered the USA on direct flights from China after these measures were introduced.

The US is the largest contributor to the World Health Organization - making up about 15 per cent of the organisation's total funding. He has also cut funding for the United Nations population fund and the United Nations agency that aids Palestinian refugees. "I don't think a lot has changed", said Craig Allen, president of the U.S. From left, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and economic adviser Larry Kudlow.

The feud over Hong Kong comes as the two heavyweights head into a risky escalation, both vying to gain an upper hand in what Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi called the start of a new Cold War. REVVED-UP RHETORICTrump's revved-up rhetoric against China comes in the midst of his re-election campaign in which opinion polls show voters increasingly embittered toward Beijing, especially over the coronavirus.

Trump said that later in the day, he will issue a proclamation to better secure America's vital university research and "to suspend the entry of certain foreign nationals from China who have been identified as potential security risks".

Hong Kong's autonomy had been in effect since Britain returned control of the territory in 1997 and has afforded the city special trading status.

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"Withdrawing U.S. membership could, among other things, interfere with clinical trials that are essential to the development of vaccines, which citizens of the United States as well as others in the world need", he said, The Hill reported.

Tensions over Hong Kong have been increasing for more than a year as China has cracked down on protesters and sought to exert more control over the former British territory. Such a deadline would buy time to avoid a major rupture in relations ahead of the November 3 USA election.

"President Trump's decision on the World Health Organization is really unproductive and damaging".

China's National People's Congress, the country's top legislative body, formally passed the Hong Kong security legislation on Thursday. The city has thrived as a global financial center, but removing special protections and status, the sort which for instance allows Americans to travel to Hong Kong without a visa, is massive.

The UK, US, Australia and Canada said the new legislation would "curtail the Hong Kong people's liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kong's autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous". It said that from 2009 to 2018, the cumulative US trade surplus of $297 billion with Hong Kong was the biggest among all USA trading partners.

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