The U.S. State Department announced Wednesday that it no longer considers Hong Kong an autonomous region. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a press conference, “It is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.” Under the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, the declaration could lead to sanctions against China for what the U.S. government perceives as overreach into Hong Kong’s affairs and may require the U.S. to treat the city the same as mainland China with regard to foreign policy and trade. Beijing is poised to impose a national security statute on Hong Kong that would invalidate much of the region’s independent rule of law. Hong Kongers spent much of 2019 protesting similar incursions by China, and protests have begun again in response to the new law.
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