Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified to Congress Wednesday that Hong Kong is no longer to be considered a semi-autonomous nation as it has been since China and the UK agreed to treat it as such in 1997.
China’s recent tightening of controls over the territory has caused the change in U.S. policy, particularly a new law that would allow Chinese security agencies to “prevent, stop and punish” residents of Hong Kong.
Millions participated in protests earlier in the year aimed at getting China to loosen its hold on the former colony, but their efforts have not been successful.
“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” Pompeo said, noting that the decision gives him “no pleasure.”
“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,” Pompeo concluded.
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