What could losing USA 'special status' mean for Hong Kong?

Pro-China supporters hold the effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese national flag outside the U.S. Consulate during a protest in Hong Kong Saturday

"It means serious question marks not just about Hong Kong's future as a free society but also about Hong Kong's ability to continue as probably the premier worldwide financial hub in Asia", Patten said in an interview with Reuters.

The 15-member council informally discussed Hong Kong in a closed virtual meeting after China opposed a United States call on Wednesday for a formal open council meeting, arguing that it was not an issue of global peace and security.

Trump's move came after China's ceremonial parliament voted Thursday to bypass Hong Kong's legislature and develop and enact national security legislation on its own for the semi-autonomous territory.

An editorial in the People's Daily, the official newspaper of China's Communist Party, said some external forces with ulterior motives have been issuing so-called "Hong Kong-related statements" for a while, threatening to "strongly respond", and lobbying for "immediate attention".

The statement pointed out that every country has legislation in place to safeguard national security. The Chinese mission to United Nations in a series of tweet said, "attempt of USA and UK to discuss the Hong Kong issue in UNSC failed" since "no agreement, no open video conference meet, no formal discussions by members and no outcome" happened.

In regard to the sanctions and trade restrictions against Hong Kong, the government believes they're not justified.

It's not yet clear what impact the decision will have on US companies that operate in Hong Kong, or on the city's position as Asia's major financial hub.

Of most recent concern is a plan to ban subversion and acts endangering national security after months of pro-democracy protests previous year.

Pro-China supporters hold the effigy of U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese national flag outside the U.S. Consulate during a protest in Hong Kong Saturday

Beijing's resolve appeared to have been hardened by months of anti-government protests in Hong Kong that frequently led to violent confrontations between police and the largely youthful demonstrators.

It comes as US President Donald Trump described the Chinese government's plans in Hong Kong as a "tragedy", and announced he would start to end preferential US treatment for the city in trade and travel.

So it is not surprising that as the situation in Hong Kong has become more precarious, Beijing has dialled down the rhetoric on the Indian border tensions with Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong underlining that China and India should never let their differences shadow the overall bilateral ties and must enhance mutual trust.

Trump also announced he was breaking off U.S. ties with the World Health Organization (WHO), which he says failed to do enough to combat the initial spread of the novel coronavirus.

But he notably avoided personal criticism of President Xi Jinping, with whom he has boasted of having a friendship even as the two powers feud over an increasing range of issues.

Trump called out China for "espionage to steal our industrial secrets, of which there are many", announced steps to protect American investors from Chinese financial practices, accused Beijing of "unlawfully claiming territory in the Pacific Ocean" and threatening freedom of navigation.

Trump has become less enthusiastic about the significance of the so-called phase one deal as the coronavirus pandemic devastates the US economy, triggering concerns that he may seek to terminate the hard-fought accord.

But any move to deter students is unwelcome for U.S. universities, which rely increasingly on tuition from foreigners and have already been hit hard by the COVID-19 shutdown. China in March expelled USA journalists after the Trump administration tightened visa rules for staff at Chinese state media.