On Friday, President Donald Trump started a severe attack on Beijing, accusing the city of espionage and violation of Hong Kong's freedoms, and announced a large number of retaliatory measures that will push US-China relations deeper into crisis.
Trump, while talking about China, said that they stole many things from the US as no one has ever done before. He said that Beijing attacked American factories and the American industry.
At the end of a week when the US hit 100,000 deaths in the coronavirus pandemic and as massive protests roiled Minneapolis after the death in police custody an African American man, Trump appeared in the Rose Garden but mentioned neither, focusing instead on casting Beijing as an existential geopolitical threat.
Trump accused China of espionage to steal America's industrial secrets, of which there are many, and announced steps to protect American investors from Chinese financial practices, besides accusing Beijing of unlawfully claiming territory in the Pacific Ocean and threatening freedom of navigation.
The President also pointed out that Beijing is passing a national security law that fundamentally undermines Hong Kong's autonomy, adding that going forward the US will no longer grant Hong Kong special status on trade or in other areas and instead will apply the same restrictions to the territory it has in place with China.
Trump outlined that the US will no longer grant Hong Kong the special policy measures on extradition, trade, travel, and customs the US had previously granted it.
Trump announced the US will pull out of the World Health Organization even as the global coronavirus pandemic continues to claim lives, claiming that China has total control over the organization of 194 member states. He said China had pressured the WHO to mislead the world over the origins of the pandemic, which he described as the "Wuhan virus," and said that agency's funding would be redirected to other worldwide and deserving, urgent global public health needs.
The President said the US will start barring foreign nationals from China from entering the US and sanctioning officials in China and Hong Kong for their direct or indirect role in depriving Hong Kong of its freedoms.