Washington: The US ended its sensitive defense exports to Hong Kong on Monday, which further exacerbated the pressure of financial capital autonomy from China.
The United States announced this decision after China said it would restrict visas for certain Americans traveling to Hong Kong. This in itself is a tit-for-tat response to the US move.
The United States has been triggering a global riot that is expected to be approved by China in the near future, and Hong Kong militants say it will undermine Hong Kong’s freedom.
“We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People s Liberation Army, whose primary purpose is to uphold the dictatorship of the CCP by any means necessary,” he said, referring to the Chinese Communist Party.
The direct impact will be modest. Official data show that last year the US State Department approved US$2.4 million in defense sales to Hong Kong, of which US$1.4 million was actually sent, including guns and ammunition for law enforcement.
The Ministry of Commerce also stated that it will revoke its special status in Hong Kong.
Now, for so-called dual-use exports with military and civilian uses, China will treat financial centers the same as China, and it is severely restricted when it seeks in Beijing.
China promised that Hong Kong will have autonomy before Britain returns to Hong Kong in 1997, but China does not want to repeat the massive and sometimes destructive protests that rocked Hong Kong last year.
“It gives us no pleasure to take this action, which is a direct consequence of Beijing s decision to violate its own commitments under the UN-registered Sino-British Joint Declaration,” Pompeo said.
President Donald Trump’s government has announced that in the eyes of the United States, Hong Kong no longer has autonomy and has launched a series of measures to respond.
On Friday, the State Council said it was restricting visas for an unknown number of Chinese officials who were deemed responsible for infringing the autonomy of Asian financial centers.
In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday that the US “scheme… to obstruct the passage of the Hong Kong national security law will never prevail.”
“To target the US s above wrongful actions, China has decided to impose visa restrictions against American individuals who have behaved egregiously on matters concerning Hong Kong,” Zhao said.
China’s Supreme Legislative Council is expected to pass the law that has been approved by the Beijing Rubber Stamp Assembly at a meeting that ends on Tuesday.
While prohibiting subversion, splitting the country, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, the bill will allow Chinese security agencies to open stores in the city for the first time.
The United Kingdom, the European Union and the United Nations human rights watchdog have expressed concern that the law may be used to stifle criticism of Beijing, and Beijing has used similar laws on the authoritarian continent to suppress dissent.
In Washington, some US lawmakers worry that Trump will take major symbolic action against Hong Kong, preferring to give priority to trade issues that may affect his re-election campaign.
Last week, the US Senate unanimously passed a bill that would impose mandatory economic sanctions on Chinese officials, the Hong Kong police, and banks that work with them if these people are found to damage the city’s autonomous status.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Zhao warned that the United States “should not review, advance or implement negative legislation on Hong Kong, let alone impose so-called sanctions on China, otherwise China will firmly take strong countermeasures.”
Last year, Hong Kong was overthrown due to seven consecutive months of protests. The initial protests were triggered by plans that were eventually abandoned to allow extradition to the mainland.
But they quickly evolved into a popular uprising against Beijing’s rule and widely called for democracy.