Secretary of State of Mike Pompeo has notified Congress that the Trump administration no longer regards Hong Kong as autonomous from mainland China.
Wednesday’s notification to lawmakers sets the stage for the U.S. to withdraw preferential trade and financial status that the former British colony has enjoyed since it reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.
“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,” Pompeo said in a statement.
Pompeo’s decision was not accompanied by a revocation of any specific privileges but comes amid calls for the U.S. and others to react against Beijing’s move to impose Chinese national security laws over the territory.
“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,” Pompeo said. “No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.