Pompeo says Hong Kong no longer warrants special US treatment

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday China had undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy so fundamentally that the territory no longer warranted special treatment under US law, a potentially big blow to its status as a major financial hub.

In a statement, Pompeo said China’s plan to impose new national security legislation on Hong Kong was “only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms”.

“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” he said on Wednesday.

“After careful study of developments over the reporting period, I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as US laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997.”

PRC National People’s Congress Proposal on Hong Kong National Security Legislation

Last week, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) National People’s Congress announced its intention to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. Beijing’s disastrous decision is only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and China’s own promises to the Hong Kong people under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-filed international treaty.

The State Department is required by the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the autonomy of the territory from China. After careful study of developments over the reporting period, I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997. No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.

Hong Kong and its dynamic, enterprising, and free people have flourished for decades as a bastion of liberty, and this decision gives me no pleasure. But sound policy making requires a recognition of reality. While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.

The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong as they struggle against the CCP’s increasing denial of the autonomy that they were promised.

Edited by staff

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