Update (1736ET): Trump just confirmed that he will indeed be signing the sanctions bill in retaliation for Hong Kong, slapping sanctions on officials who help enforce the CCP’s new national security law that flouts the city’s independence accorded by the Basic Law, and stripping Hong Kong of its preferential treatment, according to Trump.
The bill passed through Congress with unanimous consent, highlighting how Trump’s more aggressive posture toward China has become a point of bipartisan favor – even Joe Biden has suffered a political toll for his friendly rhetoric. A chorus of western countries has criticized China’s move to curtail political freedoms, including speech and assembly, labeling it “terrorism” and “secessionist”.
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Update (1715ET): As we wait for Trump to take the podium, media reports are claiming that Trump is planning to announce that he’s signing the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, a bipartisan measure to penalize banks that work with Chinese officials found to be interfering in Hong Kong affairs.
It’s essentially sanctions-lite for CCP officials involved with enforcing the new Hong Kong national security law that prompted Sec Pompeo to declare that Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous.
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One day after the State Department announced that the US would no longer recognize the South China Sea as Chinese territory, President Trump is holding his first press briefing in weeks, purportedly to discuss these latest actions against China.
Though we suspect most of the questions will focus on the administration’s coronavirus response and President Trump’s latest efforts to pressure states to commit to holding in-person classes when the new school year begins, Trump has much to discuss, including Magnitsky Act sanctions on Chinese officials tied to Xinjiang and the administration’s continued pressure campaign against Huawei, which received a boost earlier today when the UK’s decision to exclude Huawei from its 5G network also
The briefing begins at 1700ET, though we suspect Trump will be late. It will take place in the Rose Garden, Trump’s favorite venue, despite the heat in Washington.