President Donald Trump said Tuesday he has signed off on an executive order stripping Hong Kong of its special status under US law amid fierce tensions between Washington and Beijing. 

“Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China, no special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies,” Trump told reporters during a Rose Garden news conference.

The action is being taken over China’s decision to apply a controversial security law to Hong Kong.

China’s National People’s Congress, the country’s top legislative body, formally passed the Hong Kong security legislation in June. Activists fear it will be used by Beijing to quash dissent in the territory.

Hong Kong is a semi-autonomous region that has been part of China since 1997, when the UK handed over the former colony to Beijing.

Since last year, it has been mired in protests sparked by a move to legalize extradition of people to mainland China.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong authorities also banned singing of protest anthem in schools.

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