China threatens US with retaliation as Beijing officials ‘set off’ by Biden’s new sanction
China’s response to US Hong Kong advisory discussed by Yoon
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China-US relations have been at an all-time low as tensions between the two nations rocket amid ongoing concern about Beijing’s conduct in Hong Kong. President Joe Biden on Friday announced Washington is ready to unleash a new series of sanctions aimed at Chinese officials in a bid to curb the firm control towards the special administrative region. CNBC reporter Eunice Yoon said the mere threat of further economic punishments sparked the immediate fury of Beijing, resulting in a counter-threat towards the US.
Ms Yoon said: “Just the threat of the Biden advisory is setting off Chinese officials.
“The official who is in charge of overseeing Hong Kong has accused the US of attempting to embolden anti-China troublemakers or Hong Kong agents in the city.
“He vowed China would retaliate against any further sanctions on Chinese officials.
“This is coming as the US would reportedly sanction a further seven Chinese officials over Hong Kong’s year-old national security law.”
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She continued: “And also would issue an advisory which would say to American companies they could face electronic surveillance without warrants, scrutiny of corporate customer data and possible retaliation due to a new Beijing anti-sanctions law if they comply with US sanctions.
“All this amounts to what President Biden described as a deteriorating business climate.
“The alert is also meant to remind US companies that they need to understand there are consequences for engaging with sanctioned Chinese officials.”
A spokesperson for the Commissioner of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong in a statement late on Friday strongly condemned the US actions, saying they were blatant interference in Hong Kong and China’s internal affairs.
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In a statement, the spokesman said: “US worries about Hong Kong’s business environment is fake; its attempt to destroy Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, endanger China’s national security and hamper China’s development is real.”
He added the implementation of the security law has reinforced Hong Kong’s position as an international financial and business hub, and U.S. sanctions and pressures are no more than “a waste paper” which will not stop China from growing.
On Saturday, a Hong Kong government spokesman said Washington has repeatedly attempted to slander the legislation over the last year.
“The US Administration’s latest attempt to issue a so-called ‘advisory’ …based on totally ridiculous and unfounded fear-mongering about the situation in Hong Kong only serves to prove yet again its hypocrisy and double standards, driven by ideological hegemony,” the spokesman said in a statement.
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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Chinese officials over the past year had “systematically undermined” Hong Kong’s democratic institutions, delayed elections, disqualified elected lawmakers from office, and arrested thousands for disagreeing with government policies.
“In the face of Beijing’s decisions over the past year that have stifled the democratic aspirations of people in Hong Kong, we are taking action. Today we send a clear message that the United States resolutely stands with Hong Kongers,” Blinken said in a statement.
The Treasury Department referred to a separate updated business advisory issued jointly with the departments of State, Commerce, and Homeland Security that highlighted U.S. government concerns about the impact on international companies of Hong Kong’s national security law.
Critics say Beijing implemented that law last year to facilitate a crackdown on pro-democracy activists and a free press.
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