As Bloomberg reported on April 1, the U.S. blasted China for intensifying a crackdown on democracy advocates over the past year.

The U.S. State Department released the “2022 Hong Kong Policy Act Report” on March 31, listing a series of recent practices by Chinese officials to erode Hong Kong’s pro‑democracy movement and severely weaken independent media and freedom of speech, including the shutdown of two of Hong Kong’s largest independent media outlets, Apple Daily and Stand News.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement accompanying the report that over the past year, China’s government has continued to “dismantle Hong Kong’s democratic institutions, placed unprecedented pressure on the judiciary, and stifled academic, cultural, and press freedoms,” adding, “As the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong’s handover to Beijing approaches, Hong Kong’s freedoms are diminishing.”

Blinken said, “Beijing will ultimately force many of the city’s best and brightest to flee, tarnishing Hong Kong’s reputation and weakening its competitiveness,” adding, “Hong Kong’s position as a free, global financial center will continue to suffer as a result.”

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