Pompeo announces visa curbs on Chinese officials for undermining Hong Kong autonomy

Demonstrators march during a protest on the first anniversary of a mass protest against the now-withdrawn extradition bill, in Hong Kong's Central district on June 9, 2020. (Reuters)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday the United States was imposing visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials believed responsible for restricting freedoms in Hong Kong.

“Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on current and former CCP officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy,” Pompeo said in a statement, which did not name those targeted.

Late last month Pompeo had notified Congress that the Trump administration no longer regards Hong Kong as autonomous from mainland China.

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“Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under US laws in the same manner as US laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Pompeo’s decision was not accompanied by a revocation of any specific privileges but comes amid calls for the US and others to react against Beijing’s move to impose Chinese national security laws over the territory.

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“Beijing’s disastrous decision is only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and China’s own promises to the Hong Kong people under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-filed international treaty,” Pompeo said.

“No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.”

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Last Update: Friday, 26 June 2020 KSA 20:42 - GMT 17:42
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