Trump WH Claims Hong Kong Is No Longer Autonomous From China

Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong clash with police.Screengrab / Guardian News / YouTube

Sarah Shaiman

These claims could have far-reaching economic consequences for Hong Kong as the United States considers sanctions.

The Trump Administration claims that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous and has fallen too far under the influence of China and the Chinese Communist Party, according to a Bloomberg report. As tensions rise between the United States and China, this could have steep economic consequences for Hong Kong and its people.

  • President Trump has threatened China with consequences both because of coronavirus and its lack of respect for Hong Kong as autonomous.
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement, “No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.”
  • The move "was compelled by last year’s Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The law signed by Trump requires such a certification each year," Bloomberg reported.
  • If Hong Kong is no longer considered autonomous the US could economically sanction the territory, impose other punishments, and "also revoke Hong Kong’s special trading status if it chooses."
  • China has previously “warned that it would retaliate if the US put sanctions on Hong Kong or interfered in it’s affairs,” according to the report.

Although China promised to give the former British colony independence for at least fifty years under the “One Country, Two Systems” agreement, Chinese president Xi Jinping has begun to assert more control. However, China is less reliant on Hong Kong to push exports through to the rest of the world. Since 1992, exports have decreased from 45 percent to just 12 percent. Now, Hong Kong is a financial hub, which makes the United States wary to harshly intervene.

The Trump Administration hopes to take targeted action at the CCP so as not to disturb Hong Kong’s financial sector.

When asked about the prospect of imposing sanctions on Hong Kong, the president said, “It’s something you’re going to be hearing about over the next -- before the end of the week. Very powerfully, I think.”

Read the full report here.

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