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US President Donald Trump signed two new pieces of legislation aimed at Hong Kong on Tuesday, ending what he called “preferential treatment” for the Chinese special administrative region.
The Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which passed unanimously through the US Congress, will allow the United States to impose sanctions on individuals and financial institutions should they be found to have interfered with the region’s independence.
“This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom,” the president said.
The president said he had also signed an executive order that will end the ‘special privileges’ the US has provided to Hong Kong.
“Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China – no special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies,” he added.
No details have yet been released on the content of the executive order.
Beijing recently imposed a national security law for Hong Kong that makes acts of subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign entities punishable offences subject to prison time, with many having already been arrested under the legislation’s purview.
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