Secretary of State Mike Pompeo officially declared on Wednesday that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China following a decision from the country to pass new national security legislation on the city.
"The State Department is required by the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the autonomy of the territory from China. After careful study of developments over the reporting period, I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997," Pompeo said in a statement. "No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground."
Chinese government officials recently announced that it would be reviewing legislation criminalizing anti-government movements. The legislation would move Hong Kong away from the "one country, two systems" framework that previously allowed Hong Kong to have more freedoms than Chinese citizens on the mainland.
The U.S. is arguing that China's move will make it impossible for Hong Kong to continue to be a financial hub. More than 1,300 U.S. companies have operations in the city.
"While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself," Pompeo said. "The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong as they struggle against the CCP's increasing denial of the autonomy that they were promised."