Why in news?

China on 25th May 2020 threatened counter-measures against the U.S. if it was punished for plans to impose a sedition law on Hong Kong.

Background: What prompted the Warning?

  • Beijing plans to pass a new security law for Hong Kong that bans treason, subversion and sedition after months of massive, often-violent pro-democracy protests last year.
  • But many Hong Kongers, business groups and Western nations fear the proposal could be a death blow to the city’s treasured freedoms.
  • As police dispersed the crowds with tear gas and water cannon, Washington’s National Security Advisor warned the new law could cost the city its preferential U.S. trading status.

What each of the Players say?

China

Beijing portrays the city’s protests as a foreign-backed plot to destabilise the motherland and says other nations have no right to interfere in how the international business hub is run.

Protesters in Hong Kong

Protesters say they are motivated by years of Beijing chipping away at the city’s freedoms since it was handed back to China by Britain in 1997.

Their particular concern is a provision allowing Chinese security agents to operate in Hong Kong, with fears it could spark a crackdown on those voicing dissent against China’s communist rulers.

Hong Kong Government

Hong Kong’s government has welcomed the law.

U.S.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced sanctions triggered by human rights abuses against Uighurs and other minority groups in Xinjiang in China’s far northwest. The U.S. is also warning that the new Hong Kong law will affect the preferential U.S. trading status towards China.

Click Here to read more about the New Hong Kong Law

How would protests affect India – Hong Kong trade?

  • During the large-scale protests in Hong Kong during the final months of 2019 before the COVID-19 Lockdown – Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC) said that the protests would not impact its bilateral trade with India, which stood at around USD 31 billion in 2018-19.
  • There was a small decline in exports from India to Hong Kong in the first four months of the fiscal year, but that had more to do with global trade sentiments and India’s economic scenario rather than the protests.

-Source: The Hindu

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