Pompeo says Hong Kong no longer autonomous from China, raising tariff issues

The announcement could put pressure on China to back off efforts to impose new security regulations on Hong Kong

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
(Alex Wong / Getty Images)
Last Updated:
May 27, 2020 - 2:26pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress on Wednesday that the U.S. should no longer consider Hong Kong to be an autonomous political entity operating within China.

Pompeo’s declaration means that Hong Kong will no longer be afforded the special treatment that had been applied to the city while it was under British rule until 1997 – including exempted from trade tariffs that President Trump has placed on China.

Last week, the Chinese government announced that it intends to impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.

“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” Pompeo said Wednesday. “This decision gives me no please, but sound policy making requires a recognition of reality. While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.”

Last week, Pompeo called the decision to allow the  Chinese Communist Party to dispatch security forces to Hong Kong a “death knell” for the city’s autonomy. The move resulted in protests and clashed with police. 

On Tuesday, President Trump said his administration was working on a response to the new set of questions around Hong Kong and would reveal the plan going forward later this week.

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