Hong Kong `no longer autonomous`: Pompeo
Published: 02:33 PM, 28 May 2020
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Congress on Wednesday that the Trump administration no longer regards Hong Kong as autonomous from mainland China.
It is thought that Pompeo's remarks could have a major impact on US trade relations with Hong Kong.
"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.
Pompeo also said that Hong Kong's autonomy was being undermined by a series of controversial activities, such as enforcing security laws.
China plans to enact new security laws to bring semi-autonomous Hong Kong under control. The situation in Hong Kong has been tense since the country's new security law was imposed.
Thousands of riot police deployed to tackle the protests while about 300 people have been detained in preparation for protests against China's national anthem bill and new national security law. Police, however, claimed that they had been arrested for attending an illegal rally.
Recently, Beijing has taken the initiative to enact a law providing for criminal punishment for insulting China's national anthem. In addition, another bill was drafted with the provision of punishment for treason, separation of Hong Kong and attempts at mass protests. The security bill is due to be passed in China's National People's Congress on Thursday. Democrats in semi-autonomous Hong Kong claim that Beijing is trying to take away their basic freedom.