05.26.20 - It is increasing becoming likely that the US government will impose sanctions on China in the event Beijing follows through with a national security law that would give it a stronger hold over Hong Kong – the largely autonomous financial center off China’s coast.
A senior official in the State Department stated that the legislation represents a significant takeover of Hong Kong, leaving the US unable to certify the metropolis as autonomous. This would directly result in sactions being imposed on China under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.
The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, has described the legislation as a “death knell” for Hong Kong’s autonomy. A senior US official warned that Hong Kong could lose its status as a major hub for global finance.
“It’s hard to see how Hong Kong could remain the Asian financial center that it’s become if China takes over,” the official told NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press.” The official stated that financial services initially was drawn to Hong Kong because of a strong, historic rule of law that protected free enterprise throughout the city.
“If all those things go away, I’m not sure how the financial community can stay there. ...They’re not going to stay in Hong Kong to be dominated by the People’s Republic of China, the communist party.”
The legislation was first released to the public during the annual session of the National People’s Congress – China’s legislative body. The session had been delayed for months during the current pandemic. Hong Kong faced months of at times violent anti-government protests before the pandemic effectively shut China down.