News

World

China Approves Symbolic Sanctions against U.S. in Response to Pro-Democracy Hong Kong Legislation

Anti-government demonstrators hang a banner during a protest march in Hong Kong, China, October 20, 2019. (Tyrone Siu/Reuters)

China will impose new diplomatic sanctions against the U.S. in response to Congress’s show of support for Hong Kong protesters, the Chinese foreign ministry announced on Monday, but will steer clear of economic sanctions to avoid exacerbating an economic slowdown.

The U.S. House and Senate approved the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in early November with a veto-proof majority, and it was signed by President Trump on November 27. The legislation targets officials believed to be involved in human rights abuses carried out in response to the pro-democracy protests that have roiled Hong Kong since June.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said on Monday that China would retaliate by preventing U.S. Navy warships from docking in Hong Kong, and would also impose sanctions on several American non-profits, including the National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House. American ships were already prevented from refueling in Hong Kong in August.

“This seems to be an empty threat because these groups don’t operate inside mainland China,” Patrick Poon, a researcher for Amnesty International based in Hong Kong, told Bloomberg. “But if there are more tangible threats on staffers and representatives for these organizations operating in Hong Kong, it would be a serious clampdown on freedom of expression.”

China and the U.S. are currently locked in a trade war that has put pressure on both countries’ economies, as each side has imposed tariffs on a range of goods. The resulting economic pressure has left Chinese president Xi Jinping with few options to retaliate against the U.S. over the Hong Kong legislation.

President Trump currently seeks to sign a trade deal with China that would lift some of the tariffs imposed by both countries, although it is not clear if or when a deal would be finalized.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
White House

The Hole in the Impeachment Case

Thought experiment No. 1: Suppose Bob Mueller’s probe actually proves that Donald Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb. Fill in the rest of the blanks with your favorite corruption fantasy: The Kremlin has video of the mogul-turned-president debauching himself in a Moscow hotel; the Kremlin has a bulging ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More
Media

Martha McSally’s Blasphemy

As I note in my New York Post piece today, I don’t believe that Martha McSally, who is serving her first term in the Senate after being appointed to take John McCain’s seat, is going to be helped much by accusing CNN’s Manu Raju of being a “hack.” Attacking the press might be an effective way to excite ... Read More

People Make New Orleans

I had my first taste of southern hospitality the day I moved to New York. A young woman from New Orleans, whom I had met only briefly over Skype (she had advertised a room in the Bronx, though I preferred a room in Manhattan), had asked if anyone would be picking me up from the airport. No, I told her. I didn’t ... Read More

People Make New Orleans

I had my first taste of southern hospitality the day I moved to New York. A young woman from New Orleans, whom I had met only briefly over Skype (she had advertised a room in the Bronx, though I preferred a room in Manhattan), had asked if anyone would be picking me up from the airport. No, I told her. I didn’t ... Read More
Elections

Thanks for Nothing, New York Times

Imagine how self-important you’d have to be as an institution to decide that the public so craves your political advice and opinion that you need to air an hour-long program dedicated to sharing your painstaking deliberations over who ought to be the Democratic presidential nominee. Next, imagine you’re so ... Read More
Elections

Thanks for Nothing, New York Times

Imagine how self-important you’d have to be as an institution to decide that the public so craves your political advice and opinion that you need to air an hour-long program dedicated to sharing your painstaking deliberations over who ought to be the Democratic presidential nominee. Next, imagine you’re so ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More
Elections

Lying Liz

Ever since she began explaining how her Medicare for all plan would be funded, and how she would pass it, Elizabeth Warren has been sinking. Ahead of last week’s debate, her camp leaked a story that her friend Bernie Sanders met with her in 2018 to discuss plans for 2020, and that at this meeting, Sanders had ... Read More