The recent imposition of security control over Hong Kong by the Chinese Communist Party is “deeply troubling,” said President Donald Trump in a White House briefing:
“This was a plain violation of Beijing’s treaty obligations with the United Kingdom in the Declaration of 1984 and explicit provisions of Hong Kong’s Basic Law.”
The move, said President Trump, is the latest in a series of measures that are diminishing the city’s longstanding status as a free and prosperous society.
“China’s latest incursion, along with other recent developments that degraded the territory’s freedoms, makes clear that Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous to warrant the special treatment that we have afforded the territory since the handover,” declared President Trump:
“China has replaced its promised formula of ‘one country, two systems’ with ‘one country, one system.’Therefore, I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment.”
This status change will affect the full range of agreements the United States has with Hong Kong, from its extradition treaty to export controls on dual-use technologies, said President Trump.The State Department will revise its travel advisory for Hong Kong to reflect the increased danger of surveillance and punishment by the Chinese state security apparatus.And the United States will revoke Hong Kong’s preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China.
The United States will also take necessary steps to sanction Chinese Communist Party and Hong Kong officials who are directly or indirectly involved in eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy.“Our actions will be strong. Our actions will be meaningful,” stressed President Trump.
More than two decades ago, when British soldiers lowered the flag of the United Kingdom, and Chinese soldiers raised the flag of the People’s Republic of China in Hong Kong, the people of Hong Kong hoped that in the years to come that China would increasingly come to resemble its “most radiant and dynamic city,” said President Trump.“The rest of the world was electrified by a sense of optimism that Hong Kong was a glimpse into China’s future -- not that Hong Kong would grow into a reflection of China’s past.”