US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has told Congress that Hong Kong no longer merits special treatment under US law.
The declaration could have major implications for Hong Kong’s trade hub status and is likely to anger Beijing.
“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” he said in a statement.
It follows Beijing’s plan to impose a controversial new security law on the territory.
The security law was “only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms,” Mr Pompeo said.
“It is now clear that China is modelling Hong Kong after itself.
Until now the US has given Hong Kong – a global financial and trading hub – special status under US law. The provision dates from when the territory was a British colony and gives it favourable trading terms.
But since last year this status has been conditional on the US secretary of state regularly certifying that Hong Kong maintains sufficient autonomy from mainland China.
If the secretary of state fails to certify this, the US Congress can revoke Hong Kong’s special trade status.
This would mean treating Hong Kong the same as mainland China for trade and other purposes
Source : Bbc