U.S. decertification under the Hong Kong Policy Act – what is changing now, and what happens next?

On 27 May 2020 U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo certified to Congress that the State Department no longer considers Hong Kong to have significant autonomy from China and therefore "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."

This pronouncement by the secretary of state was made in response to the imminent passage of China's national security law, which the secretary earlier in the week had referred to as a "death knell" to Hong Kong. The stated purpose of the national security law is to provide new enforcement tools for the Hong Kong government to prosecute crimes related to secession, inciting subversion of state power, organizing and participating in terrorism, and foreign interference with Hong Kong.

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