UPDATED 11:21 AM PT — Sunday, May 24, 2020
The White House is considering placing sanctions on China if the new legislation against Hong Kong is passed. According to National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wouldn’t be able to certify Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, which would lead to sanctions on both.
O’Brien went on to say it would be difficult for Hong Kong to remain the financial center in Asia if China takes control.
“I also think you’re going to have a terrible brain train. I think Hong Kong citizens, many of whom can travel under certain circumstances, could travel to the United Kingdom or seek refuge in other places. They’re not going to stay in Hong Kong to be dominated by the People’s Republic of China and the Communist Party.” – Robert O’Brien, National Security Adviser
He also said it would have a significant economic impact, because global corporations would have no reason to stay if the capitalist system is taken from Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, the Wuhan lab accused of releasing the coronavirus has claimed it had nothing to do with the outbreak. On Sunday, the director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology profusely denied any possibility the virus had leaked from the facility.
She called the allegations from the Trump administration “pure fabrication.”
The director went on to say her lab had absolutely no knowledge the pathogen existed until it tested a sample of the virus it received on December 30th, which was after the virus had already broken out.
“We didn’t have any knowledge before that, nor had we ever encountered, researched or kept the virus. In fact, like everyone else, we didn’t even know the virus existed. How could it have leaked from our lab when we never had it?” – Wang Yanyi, Director of the Wuhan Institute of Virology
According to her, most scientists agree the coronavirus originated from wild animals. She added there needs to be cooperation among the scientific community to get to the bottom of how it exactly broke out.