Trump launches unprecedented attack on China

President Donald Trump launched a blistering attack on China Friday, naming misdeeds that range from espionage to the violation of Hong Kong’s freedoms, and announced a slew of retaliatory measures that will plunge US-China relations deeper into crisis.

“They’ve ripped off the United States like no one has ever done before,” Trump said of China, as he decried the way Beijing has “raided our factories” and “gutted” American industry, casting Beijing as a central foil he will run against in the remaining months of his re-election campaign.

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.

The President blasted Beijing for passing a national security law that fundamentally undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy, announcing that going forward, the US will treat Hong Kong the way it treats the rest of China. Trump said the US will strip Hong Kong of the special policy measures on extradition, trade, travel and customs the US had previously granted it.

And Trump went so far as to announce the US would pull out of the World Health Organization during the global coronavirus pandemic, claiming that China has total control over the WHO.

This story is breaking and will be updated.