Pompeo Blasts China: ‘Respect Hong Kong’s High Degree of Autonomy, Democratic Institutions, and Civil Liberties’
“The decision to bypass Hong Kong’s well-established legislative processes and ignore the will of the people of Hong Kong would be a death knell…”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo lashed out at China over the communist party’s attempt to “impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.”
This legislation would “ban all seditious activities in” Hong Kong.
Here is Pompeo’s full statement:
The United States condemns the People’s Republic of China (PRC) National People’s Congress proposal to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong. The decision to bypass Hong Kong’s well-established legislative processes and ignore the will of the people of Hong Kong would be a death knell for the high degree of autonomy Beijing promised for Hong Kong under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-filed agreement.
Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of liberty. The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal, abide by its international obligations, and respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and civil liberties, which are key to preserving its special status under U.S. law. Any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory.
We stand with the people of Hong Kong.
In 1997, the British let go of Hong Kong under the condition of “one country, two systems.” Hong Kong must enjoy independence and liberty until 2047.
That has not stopped Beijing from trying to bring Hong Kong completely under its control:
This week, Beijing’s patience ran out. On the back of more than six months of often violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year, the National People’s Congress (NPC), China’s rubber-stamp parliament, put forward plans to introduce a national security and anti-sedition law on the city’s behalf, bypassing Hong Kong’s legislature via a rarely used constitutional backdoor.
The details of the proposed law go far beyond what was put forward in 2003. As well as criminalizing “treason, secession, sedition (and) subversion” against the central government, it will also enable Chinese national security organs to operate in the city “to fulfill relevant duties to safeguard national security in accordance with the law.”
Expected to be passed by the NPC later this month and promulgated in Hong Kong soon after, the law will have drastic effects on whole swaths of Hong Kong society, from the city’s garrulous and defiant political sphere to media, education and international business.
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