Hong Kong tells United States to stay out of its affairs
Trump expected to make China announcement later today
China security ministry to "direct" Hong Kong police
Hong Kong told the United States to keep out of the debate over national security legislation being imposed by China, and warned that withdrawal of the financial hub's special status under US law could backfire on the US economy.
President Donald Trump is due to announce later yesterday his response to the Chinese parliament's advancement this week of security legislation for Hong Kong, which many lawyers, diplomats and investors fear could erode the city's freedoms.
The former British colony has been racked by civil unrest amid fears Beijing is curbing the high degree of autonomy it has enjoyed under a "one country, two systems" formula adopted when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
"Any sanctions are a double-edged sword that will not only harm the interests of Hong Kong but also significantly those of the US," Hong Kong's pro-Beijing government said late on Thursday.
From 2009 to 2018, the US trade surplus of $297 billion with Hong Kong was the biggest among all Washington's trading partners, and 1,300 US firms were based in the city, it said.
Beijing says the new legislation, likely to come into force before September, will tackle secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference in the city. It could also see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in Hong Kong.
Chinese authorities and Hong Kong's government say the legislation poses no threat to the city's autonomy and the interests of foreign investors would be preserved.
Reacting to US efforts to call a UN Security Council meeting over Hong Kong, China's foreign ministry reiterated on Friday that Hong Kong was an internal affair and no country had the right to interfere.
It said China had lodged solemn representations to countries condemning its plans and was determined to take countermeasures against any US actions.
Australia, Britain, Canada and the United States are among the countries that have condemned the proposed security legislation.