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US ends defence exports to Hong Kong as China pushes for security bill

Hong Kong has been witnessing anti-government protests since June 2019, with protesters claiming to oppose China's increasing influence on the special administrative region

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Hong Kong protests | Hong Kong

ANI 

President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington. Photo: PTI
President Donald Trump speaks with reporters before departing on Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House, in Washington. Photo: PTI

As China moves forward with bringing national security legislation in Hong Kong, the US has announced the ending of the US-origin defense equipment exports to

"Today, the United States is ending exports of @StateDeptPM controlled U.S. origin defense equipment and sensitive @CommerceGov controlled dual-use technologies to If Beijing now treats as "One Country, One System," so must we," US Secretary of State Pompeo tweeted on Monday (local time).

During a press briefing, he said, "The Chinese Communist Party's decision to eviscerate Hong Kong's freedoms has forced the Trump Administration to re-evaluate its policies toward the territory. As Beijing moves forward with passing the national security law, the United States will today end exports of U.S.-origin defense equipment and will take steps toward imposing the same restrictions on U.S. defense and dual-use technologies to Hong Kong as it does for China."
 

He also said that the decision has been taken to protect US national security as "We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China. We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People's Liberation Army, whose primary purpose is to uphold the dictatorship of the CCP by any means necessary."

"It gives us no pleasure to take this action, which is a direct consequence of Beijing's decision to violate its own commitments under the UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration. Our actions target the regime, not the Chinese people. But given Beijing now treats Hong Kong as 'One Country, One System,' so must we," Pompeo said while adding that the US will be reviewing other authorities and will take additional measures to reflect the reality on the ground in Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has been witnessing anti-government protests since June 2019, with protesters claiming to oppose China's increasing influence on the special administrative region.

The latest wave of protests was caused by a security bill specially tailored by Beijing for Hong Kong.

The security legislation, which bans secessionist activities, among other things, is seen by Hong Kong residents as undermining their liberties. However, both Hong Kong's leadership and the central government say the bill would not affect the legitimate rights of the residents. Beijing maintains that the unrest in Hong Kong is a result of interference and vows to respect the "one country, two systems" principle.

First Published: Tue, June 30 2020. 08:24 IST
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