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US weighs limited options to deal with China over Hong Kong

Filed on July 13, 2020 | Last updated on July 13, 2020 at 04.13 pm
Bilateral tensions between the US and China have escalated again thanks to a number of issues.

(Reuters file)

Steps against financial system risk hurting US, Western and Hong Kong companies, consumers

The United States is weighing restricted options to deal with China over its recent moves in Hong Kong, the Wall Street Journal reported, as tensions between Washington and Beijing heat up.

Steps against Hong Kong's financial system risk hurting US, Western and Hong Kong companies and consumers, according to the report, citing US officials and analysts.

Measures like more targeted sanctions against Chinese officials and trade moves against products made in Hong Kong would have little impact on Beijing's integration of the city into the mainland's political and security system, the Journal added.

On Thursday, Trump administration officials discussed Hong Kong plans in a White House meeting, people familiar with the gathering told the Journal. Officials will regroup early this week and may announce sanctions or other measures, one person added.

Washington last week imposed sanctions on the autonomous region of Xinjiang's Communist Party Secretary Chen Quanguo, a member of China's powerful Politburo, and three other officials.

Beijing described the sanctions as "deeply detrimental" to mutual relations between the countries and warned that China would impose reciprocal measures on US officials and organisations.

As bilateral tensions escalate over matters ranging from the coronavirus, trade, the new Hong Kong security law and allegations of human rights violations against Uighurs in the Xinjiang region, the US government alerted American citizens on Saturday to "exercise increased caution" in China.

Earlier, a Bloomberg report said Trump's top advisers weighed proposals to undermine the Hong Kong currency's peg to the US dollar, although the idea did not appear to have gained traction.

Chinese state lenders were revamping contingency plans over the threat of US sanctions, according to a Reuters report last week.

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