China threatened stronger and more restrictive measures against demonstrators in Hong Kong, implementing new security laws with which it hopes to quell the protests.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that the consequences could be severe. “No reasonable person can claim today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given the facts on the ground,” said Pompeo, who praised Hong Kong’s position as “a bastion of freedom” and lamented that “if the United States ever hoped that a free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is clear that China is shaping Hong Kong in its own image.
In late 2019 the US House of Representatives almost unanimously passed a Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act that requires the Chinese government to demonstrate year after year that it respects the autonomy of the city, a veritable democratic bastion against the colossus.
If it fails to do so, the United States reserves the right to take economic measures that could affect Hong Kong itself in the first place, which would seriously reduce or even annul the preferential treatment that guarantees its prosperity as an international business centre.