28 May 2020 - The US no longer recognises Hong Kong's autonomy
Pompeo says Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, jeopardizing billions of dollars in trade
Jennifer Hansler, Nicole Gaouette and Kylie Atwood (CNN, 28/05/2020)
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he certified to Congress Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer enjoys a high degree of autonomy from China -- a decision that could result in the loss of Hong Kong's special trading status with the US and threaten its standing as an international financial hub.
President Donald Trump and Congress will decide what actions to take as a result of the certification which comes at a time of increased tensions with Beijing as the two countries trade barbs over the coronavirus pandemic. Ending a special trading relationship that has existed for decades would carry costs for American business, rattle an already fragile global economy and hurt Hong Kong more than China, experts warn.
Chinese parliament approves controversial Hong Kong security law
Lily Kuo (The Guardian, 28/05/2020)
China’s legislature has approved a decision to force a controversial national security law on Hong Kong, in an extraordinary and unprecedented move aimed at bringing the semi-autonomous territory further under Beijing’s control.
On Thursday, China’s National People’s Congress voted on a decision that paves the way for sweeping anti-sedition laws to be directly enacted in Hong Kong.
The law, aimed at stamping out protests that have racked Hong Kong for the past year, would bar subversion, separatism, “acts of foreign interference” and terrorism, charges often used in mainland China to silence dissidents and other political opponents.
United States revokes Hong Kong’s special status
Shaun Tandon, Jerome Taylor and Su Xinqi (Asia Times, 28/05/2020)
The United States has revoked Hong Kong’s special status under US law, opening the way for the city to be stripped of trading privileges, as Washington accused China of trampling on the territory’s autonomy.
The decision came as China’s rubber-stamp parliament was set to vote Thursday on a new Hong Kong security law, a move that has triggered renewed protests.
Under legislation passed last year to support Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters, the US administration must certify that the city still enjoys the freedoms promised by Beijing when it negotiated with Britain to take back the colony.
Will President Trump Stand With Hong Kong?
The Editorial Board (The New York Times, 27/05/2020)
That China’s Xi Jinping is taking more steps to bring Hong Kong under the central government’s control should come as no surprise. President Xi has long made clear that he regards the enclave’s freedoms as a Western thorn in his side. With the world fixated on the coronavirus pandemic, with relations with the United States at a low, and with 3,000 delegates gathered in Beijing for the annual propaganda-fest of the National People’s Congress, he evidently concluded that this was the time to pounce, proposing a national security law that could allow Chinese authorities to crack down on civil liberties in Hong Kong.
The Trump administration was left with no option but to acknowledge the new reality. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo formally advised Congress that the American government no longer believes that Hong Kong has sufficient autonomy from Beijing, a decertification that opens the way to ending all or some of the territory’s special trade and economic privileges.