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USA v China latest: Trump to slap sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong row

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The US President made the announcement after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Hong Kong can no longer be considered autonomous from mainland China. Mr Trump also said he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating special treatment for Hong Kong in response to China plans to impose new security legislation in the territory.

Mr Trump made the announcement at a White House news conference, saying China had broken its word over Hong Kong’s autonomy.

He said its move against Hong Kong was a tragedy for the people of Hong Kong, China and the world.

He said: “We will take action to revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment.”

Mr Trump said he was directing his administration to begin the process of eliminating policy agreements on Hong Kong, ranging from extradition treatment to export controls.

He said he would also issue a proclamation to better safeguard vital university research by suspending the entry of foreign nationals from China identified as potential security risks.

White House sources said the move, which had been expected, could impact 3,000 to 5,000 Chinese graduate students.

Mr Trump’s move comes after China moved forward with plans to impose new national security legislation and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the territory no longer warrants special treatment under US law that has enabled it to remain a global financial centre since it reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

Under an agreement between China and the UK, the territory was to be governed differently than the mainland for 50 years under a “one country, two systems” policy.

But China’s parliament has just approved a decision to press ahead with national security legislation for Hong Kong that democracy activists, diplomats and some in the business world fear will jeopardise its semi-autonomous status.

Mr Pompeo’s had warned of possible sanctions alongside the loss of special perks Hong Kong has received from the Washington.

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