U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified Wednesday that Hong Kong is no longer an autonomous territory within China, which will allow it to be deprived of the special economic regime it now enjoys under U.S. tax laws.
“I certify today to Congress that Hong Kong no longer deserves the same treatment under U.S. law as it did under U.S. law prior to July 1997,” Pompeo said in a statement, referring to the date the territory was returned from the United Kingdom to China, with a number of conditions of autonomy.
“No one in their right mind can claim today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given the facts on the ground,” Pompeo added.
The Chinese regime plans to pass a security law on Thursday that would reduce Hong Kong’s autonomy, putting at serious risk the special economic regime the territory currently enjoys.
The US Government supports Hong Kong’s economic position through special economic treatment, unlike that of the rest of China. A law passed by the Capitol last year requires the White House to certify whether the territory is still autonomous in order to enjoy preferential trade status with the United States. U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday that he was preparing a response that his government called forceful to the new national security laws that China is preparing to apply to Hong Kong.