Trump says he’ll begin removal of Hong Kong’s preferred status

The president also said he would withdraw the U.S. from the World Health Organization and would issue a proclamation to “study” practices of Chinese companies listed on U.S. financial markets. He said investment firms shouldn’t be subjecting clients to hidden and undue risks.

The administration action follows a steady campaign by Beijing to curb Hong Kong’s autonomy, culminating with the May 22 introduction in the National People’s Congress of national security legislation that “contradicts the spirit and practice of the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the One Country, Two Systems framework,” according to the State Department.

The department reported to Congress this week that it could no longer certify that Hong Kong retained sufficient autonomy to warrant differential treatment under the Hong Kong Policy Act and 2019 amendments to the law.    

However, the president’s nine-minute remarks opened with a broader blast at China for its trade policies, for its greater assertion of sovereignty in the Pacific, and to its alleged complicity in the global COVID-19 pandemic by not fulfilling its obligation to notify the World Health Organization.

“The death and destruction caused by this are incalculable,” Trump said. “We must have answers, not just for us, but for the world.”