U.S. to Stop Treating Hong Kong as Separate from China
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo “certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment” separate from China.
This decision stems from the recent passing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, which required that “Hong Kong must remain sufficiently autonomous from the People’s Republic of China” to justify special treatment in relation to trading and economic partnership.
Now, in response to China’s decision to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong, Secretary of State Pompeo says it is clear “that Hong Kong [no longer] maintains a high degree of autonomy from China”. Therefore, the U.S. can no longer treat Hong Kong as separate from China.
China’s new national security laws against Hong Kong “would punish seditious and secessionist behavior”. The United States views this as a violation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration which established the “One country, two systems” arrangement of Hong Kong and China. This arrangement allowed that “the socialist system and socialist policies shall not be practised in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region and that Hong Kong’s previous capitalist system and life-style shall remain unchanged for 50 years.”