The United States will begin to deprive Hong Kong of its privileged status, since it has ceased to be a separate component of the PRC, US President Donald Trump said on Friday.
Trump explained that, according to the United States, Hong Kong has recently de facto “ceased to be an autonomous component of China – IF”.
“China has replaced its promise to follow the principle of” one country – two systems “with the principle of” one country – one system, “Trump said in the White House.
“We will begin to consider the rejection of a number of privileges,” he said, explaining that this applies, in particular, to trade and extradition agreements.
Trump added that the United States will withdraw the status of Hong Kong’s independent customs territory, as well as impose sanctions on officials who “directly or indirectly undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy.” “Our actions will be decisive and significant,” the US president said.
The authorities of the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom on the eve issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over Beijing’s decision to extend national security legislation to Hong Kong.
US Presidential Advisor Robert O’Brien said in an interview with NBC that Washington could impose sanctions against China if Beijing “captures” Hong Kong with a national security bill.
In a statement by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, posted on the State Department’s website, it was clarified that Hong Kong could no longer count on the previous special US approach to this region.
Earlier this week, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Li Keqiang in a report to the NPC session confirmed that Beijing intends to create “stable legal systems and enforcement mechanisms to protect national security in Hong Kong.”
This triggered a new wave of protests in Hong Kong, which ended temporarily at the end of last year after the start of the spread of coronavirus.
In the past, the United States has concluded a number of agreements with Hong Kong, giving it a special status in trade. The parties also agreed on the conditions of extradition.
In Washington, they announced their desire to conclude bilateral agreements with Hong Kong in a variety of areas, including culture, education, trade, and investment in order to maintain the principle of “one country – two systems in China.”
In 1842, Hong Kong became a British colony. However, a substantial part of it was leased in 1898 for 99 years from the Qing Empire. Great Britain, after the formation of independent China, continued to recognize this treaty. As a result, in 1997 control of Hong Kong was transferred to China. According to the joint Sino-British declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law, it was granted wide autonomy until 2047. Aspects such as defense and foreign policy became the prerogative of the PRC, while Hong Kong authorities retained the right to make independent decisions in many other areas.