JULY 15, 2020
Over the past two weeks, the world has watched as the Chinese Communist Party smothers Hong Kong’s freedom. In 1984, China promised the United Kingdom and the Hong Kong people in front of the world that it would keep Hong Kong free and open and maintain its high degree of autonomy until the year 2047. With the draconian national security legislation that Beijing imposed on Hong Kong, which allows mainland China’s security services to operate with impunity in Hong Kong, China has broken that promise, as it has so many others.
Last night, the President responded, including by taking steps to end U.S. preferential treatment for Hong Kong, terminate the territory’s benefits with regard to U.S. export controls, and direct the initiation of steps to suspend our extradition agreement with Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Autonomy Act will give the Administration additional tools to promote accountability for those responsible for extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedoms. The President also directed the Administration to place a special focus on the admission of Hong Kong residents as refugees based on humanitarian concerns, demonstrating the enduring U.S. commitment to stand with the oppressed.
July 1 was a sad day for a territory whose autonomy and history of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms have allowed it to flourish, but Beijing’s actions have left us with no choice.
CHAIRMAN RISCH STATEMENT ON END OF PREFERENTIAL TREATMENT FOR HONG KONG
BOISE, Idaho – U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement after President Trump signed an executive order ending U.S. preferential treatment for Hong Kong, which means that the United States will treat Hong Kong in the same manner economically as the People’s Republic of China and the United States will suspend or terminate relevant agreements with Hong Kong:
“The executive order the president signed today means Hong Kong will now be treated like, and subject to the restrictions of, any other city in the People’s Republic of China. It is unfortunate, but necessary, for the president to use these measures in response to the alarming actions taken by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), especially the imposition of the national security law. The draconian law subjects the people of Hong Kong to the CCP’s authoritarianism, and puts every Hong Konger, as well as U.S. citizens in Hong Kong, at risk.
“The United States strongly condemns the CCP’s decision to abolish the autonomy of Hong Kong and infringe upon the promised rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people. It is deeply unfortunate that the CCP has decided to end Hong Kong’s autonomy after 23 years, when it agreed to 50 years under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. We continue to stand with the people of Hong Kong and support their rights to freedom, democracy, and prosperity.”