The Secretary of state said that the territory no longer has a high degree of autonomy from China.
US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo on Wednesday notified Congress that Hong Kong no longer justifies a special regime of relations with the US.
In a statement, Pompeo noted that China’s plan to impose a new law on Hong Kong in the field of national security “only adds to a series of actions that fundamentally undermine the autonomy and freedoms of Hong Kong.”
“No reasonable person today can claim that Hong Kong retains a high degree of autonomy from China, given the facts on the ground,” he said.He added.
“After carefully reviewing the events during the reporting period, I have today notified Congress that Hong Kong no longer has reason to expect a special approach in American law in the way that American law applied to Hong Kong before July 1997,” Pompeo said.
“It is now clear that China is rebuilding Hong Kong in its way,”
The law on human rights and democracy in Hong Kong, passed by the US Congress and signed by President Donald Trump last year, requires the State Department to certify to Congress at least once a year that the former British colony still has sufficient autonomy to justify favorable terms of trade with the US, which helped maintain Hong Kong’s position as a global financial center.
Under this law, officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong can be subject to sanctions, including visa and financial penalties.
Now Trump will have to decide whether to wholly or partially strip Hong Kong of economic privileges.
Trump on Tuesday said that the US is preparing a strong response to China’s attempts to impose a new law on Hong Kong in the field of national security and that the developed measures will be announced before the end of the year.