U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened to strip Hong Kong of its special status and recently announced that the state is no longer autonomous from China.
In fact, Pompeo stated that:
“no reasonable person can assert that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.”
This decision would mean that the nation would lose several trading privileges including lower tariffs and its reputable financial status which it enjoyed for 23 years.
American and Chinese relations have already worsened over the ongoing trade wars and accusations of China covering up the coronavirus pandemic. Now, this announcement has increased tensions over trade, human rights, and religious freedom in the region.
Pompeo’s decision comes amid calls for the US and its allies to react against Beijing’s moves to dictate Chinese national security laws of the territory. In fact, he argues that these laws criminalize acts of secession, subversion of state power, and an end to organizing activities related to terrorism that would endanger national security.
In addition, Trump administration officials are attempting to encourage American companies to shift their supply chains back into the United States with proposals including tax breaks and subsidies worth over $25 billion.
On the contrary, Zhang Jun – Chinese U.N. Ambassador stated that the national security laws for Hong Kong are purely China’s internal affairs and should not be meddled into by other nations as well as the United Nations Security Council.
The recent news has led to protests in the heart of the city and triggered a drop of more than 4.6% in share prices at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange concerning several investors amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ultimately, President Trump on behalf of his cabinet has mentioned that, “We’re doing something now. I think you’ll find it very interesting.” He will be talking further upon national and global security concerns over Hong Kong and China in the next couple of days.