Hong Kong warns against removing special U.S. status

Hong Kong's government told the United States to stay out of its internal affairs on Friday (May 29), calling potential U.S. sanctions a double-edged sword.

They warned that removing the financial hub's special status under U.S. law could backfire on the American economy.

U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to announce a response to China's national security law for Hong Kong later on Friday.

Beijing says its security law will tackle secession, terrorism and foreign interference in Hong Kong.

It may see Chinese intelligence agencies set up bases in the city.

The law was advanced by Chinese parliament on Thursday (May 28), and is likely to take effect before September.

Western nations, including the U.S., say it could wear away the high level of autonomy Hong Kong enjoys.

This 'one country, two systems' formula was put in place when it returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

This week, the U.S. State Department said it could quote "no longer certify that Hong Kong continues to warrant differential treatment" from Beijing.

Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow warned Hong Kong may now need to be treated like mainland China on trade and finacial matters.

Chinese authorities and Hong Kong's Beijing-backed government still maintain there is no threat to the city's autonomy.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Thursday the security legislation would benefit Hong Kong's long-term stability and prosperity.

But thousands of people took to Hong Kong's streets in protest this week - the first big demonstrations there in months - and were met with riot police firing pepper pellets.

Demonstrators also say they stand against a local Hong Kong bill that would criminalize disrespect for the Chinese national anthem.

Protesters say they see both pieces of legislation as the latest attempt by Beijing to tighten its grip on the city.