Beijing's office

Beijing’s top Hong Kong office slams U.S. sanctions as ‘gangster logic and bullying’ – Reuters

HONG KONG (Reuters) – China accused the United States of “gangster logic” on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump ordered an end to Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law in response to Beijing’s imposition of new security legislation on the territory.

Beijing’s Liaison Office in the Asian financial hub said the move would only damage U.S. interests while having little impact on Hong Kong.

“Unreasonable meddling and shameless threats by the United States are typical gangster logic and bullying behaviour,” the office said in a statement.

“No external force can block China’s determination and confidence to maintain national sovereignty and security for Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.”

The security law imposed by Beijing punishes what China broadly defines as subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

Critics of the law fear it will crush the wide-ranging freedoms promised to the former British colony when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997, while supporters say it will bring stability to the city after a year of sometimes violent anti-government protests.

Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to end preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong, allowing him to impose sanctions and visa restrictions on Chinese officials and financial institutions involved in the imposition of the law.

China has threatened to impose retaliatory sanctions of its own, and summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest.

The Hong Kong government said on Wednesday it would support any action Beijing chose to take against the United States.

“It is hypocritical for the U.S. to introduce measures to attack China by creating issues in (Hong Kong) under the pretext of human rights, democracy and autonomy out of its own political considerations,” the territory’s Beijing-backed government said in a statement.

Four members of a pro-establishment party, the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, staged a protest at the U.S. consulate on Thursday demanding the United States “stop interfering in Chinese internal affairs.”

Trump has not ruled out sanctions on top Chinese officials to punish China for its handling of Hong Kong, a White House National Security Council spokesman said on Wednesday.

Among names being pushed by some China hawks is Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who has backed Beijing’s implementation of the security law, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Separately Hong Kong pro-democracy activist Nathan Law said on Wednesday he feels safe in London but described the extra-territorial reach of national security laws imposed by China as “scary”, and urged Britain to do more to help.

Reporting by Farah Master, Jessie Pang, Carol Mang and Yanni Chow; Writing by Farah Master; Editing by Michael Perry and Stephen Coates

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Beijing's rejects

U.S. Rejects Beijing’s South China Sea Claims – Bloomberg Politics

U.S. Rejects Beijing’s South China Sea Claims – YouTube

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Beijing's Coronavirus

Beijing’s coronavirus outbreak is under control, Chinese health expert says – CNBC

A Chinese epidemic control worker wears a protective suit and mask as he and volunteers direct people at a site where authorities were performing nucleic acid tests for COVID-19 on citizens who have had contact with the the Xinfadi Wholesale Market or someone who has, at an outdoor sports center June 15, 2020 in Beijing, China.

Kevin Frayer | Getty Images

Wu Zunyou, the chief epidemiologist of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said Thursday the capital’s recent coronavirus outbreak has been brought under control.

The expert added at a press briefing that there may be new virus cases in the coming days, but that these would not be newly transmitted cases, but ones discovered during the process of testing.

After more than 50 days without domestically transmitted Covid-19 cases in Beijing, the city reported one case on Thursday last week. Another six emerged Friday, and by Monday, a total of 106 new confirmed cases had been recorded over five days. The city then reported 21 cases for Wednesday, according to Reuters, which was down from 31 the day before.

The bulk of the infections trace back to a major wholesale produce market called Xinfadi, located on the city outskirts, about 8.7 miles (14 kilometers) southwest of Tiananmen Square at the center of Beijing.

 “The epidemic in Beijing has been brought under control,” said Wu Zunyou, according to a Reuters translation. “When I say that it’s under control, that doesn’t mean the number of cases will turn zero tomorrow or the day after,” he added.   

“The trend will persist for a period of time, but the number of cases will decrease, just like the trend that we saw (in Beijing) in January and February.”

Chu Junwei, an official of Beijing’s southwestern Fengtai district, told reporters at the weekend that the new cases had put the district on a “wartime emergency mode.” The city’s government locked down residential areas and has since raised its alert setting, closed schools and limited travel. 

The announcement Thursday pushed U.S. stock futures higher during early morning trade. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 67 points, implying an opening jump of about 107 points. Meanwhile, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 futures were both slightly higher.

The coronavirus has killed nearly 450,000 people and infected over 8 million since it first emerged from Wuhan, China at the end of last year. The reemergence of the virus cases in China’s capital over the weekend added further uncertainty for businesses and consumers, and weighed on global investor sentiment.

—CNBC’s Evelyn Cheng contributed to this article.

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