On Wednesday, Aug. 19, the U.S. State Department announced that it had terminated three agreements with Hong Kong following the repressive measures imposed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through the controversial national security law that is eroding autonomy in the territory.
“The Chinese Communist Party chose to crush the freedoms and autonomy of the people of Hong Kong. Because of the CCP’s actions, we are terminating or suspending three of our bilateral agreements with the territory,” wrote Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a tweet.
The State Department made mention of the “drastic steps to erode the high degree of autonomy that Beijing itself promised to the United Kingdom and the people of Hong Kong for 50 years under the U.N.-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration.”
The State Department previously detailed that the decision to end the three agreements with Hong Kong involved “the surrender of fugitive offenders, the transfer of those convicted of a crime, and reciprocal tax exemptions on income derived from the international shipping operation.
As Reuters reported, the move comes after President Donald Trump last month ordered an end to preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong under U.S. law to punish the CCP for taking “oppressive actions” against the former British colony.
By 1997 Hong Kong had been returned to the CCP and the governments of the United States and Hong Kong had agreed to implement bilateral measures of mutual assistance in criminal matters, such as the transfer of suspects in custody or the search for and confiscation of the proceeds of crime.
State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus stressed in the statement, “These steps underscore our deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose the national security law, which has crushed the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong.”
The suspension of the agreements comes after Washington made the decision to sanction Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and other Chinese officials including the commissioner of the Hong Kong police force, the secretary for security in Hong Kong, the secretary for justice, and the secretary of constitutional affairs, Fox News reported.
Chinese Foreign Minister Zhao Lijian on Thursday condemned the United States the findings, “China urges the U.S. to immediately correct its mistakes.”