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China dismisses US sanctions threat over Hong Kong rules

China dismisses US sanctions threat over Hong Kong rules
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China on Tuesday dismissed U.S. threats of economic sanctions in response to Beijing's announcement of new national security rules for Hong Kong.

"The US stirring of Western public opinion will lead to nothing," the Chinese state-run publication Global Times said Tuesday in an editorial. 

The dismissal comes just days after an announcement at the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference that aimed to impose new rules on the former British colony, which is expected to pass this week.

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The laws proposed Thursday would seek to change Hong Kong's constitution, known as the Basic Law, under the pretext of fighting terrorism and insurrection. But they would effectively halt pro-democracy protests that have erupted in the territory since last year.

"As the U.S. is entangled in the COVID-19 epidemic, its actual ability to intervene externally is weakening," according to the Global Times.

On Friday, Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoState Dept. to review Trump admin's decision to label Houthis a terrorist organization VOA reinstates White House reporter reassigned after questioning Pompeo Jilani: China 'sending clear message' to Biden officials with sanctions that opposition could lead to 'future pay cut' MORE blasted the legislation that would allow for more control over Hong Kong, calling it a "death knell" for the territory's autonomy from Beijing.

President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report MORE has also threatened economic reprisal against the Chinese government for its handling of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The Global Times called the Trump administration's threats "a nothingburger." 

"The White House claimed it would impose sanctions on China, but the tools and resources at its disposal are fewer than those it could mobilize before the outbreak," the editorial added.

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The editorial said that China would not be greatly affected by economic punishment from the U.S. administration.

"The special trade status given by the U.S. is important, but is not a decisive factor to determine whether Hong Kong is a financial center or not. As long as the economy in the Chinese mainland keeps booming, Hong Kong will not decline," according to the report.

The report added that if the U.S. changes its trade policy toward Hong Kong, the end result would be a "lose-lose situation," adding, "Hong Kong will be able to adjust its way to maintain prosperity with the support of the Chinese central government."