The US authorities started measures as we speak to finish its particular standing with Hong Kong, one month after Secretary of State Michael Pompeo told Congress that Hong Kong ought to now not be thought-about autonomous from China. These embrace suspending export license exceptions for delicate U.S. expertise and ending the export of protection tools to Hong Kong. Each the Commerce and State Departments additionally mentioned additional restrictions are being evaluated.
The U.S. authorities’s bulletins have been made just a few hours earlier than information broke that China had handed a brand new nationwide safety regulation that can give it better management over Hong Kong. It’s anticipated to take impact on July 1, according to the South China Morning Post.
The time period “particular standing” refers to preparations that acknowledged the distinction between Hong Kong and mainland China beneath the “one nation, two techniques” coverage put into place when the UK handed management of Hong Kong again to Beijing in 1997. These included totally different export controls, immigration insurance policies and decrease tariffs. However that preferential remedy was put into jeopardy after China proposed the brand new nationwide safety regulation, which many Hong Kong residents fear will end the region’s judicial independence from Beijing.
The united statesCommerce Division and State Division issued separate statements as we speak detailing the brand new restrictions on Hong Kong. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross mentioned the Commerce Division will droop export license exceptions for delicate U.S. expertise, and that “additional actions to get rid of differential remedy are additionally being evaluated.”
The State Division mentioned that it’s going to finish exports of U.S. protection tools and likewise “take steps towards imposing the identical restrictions on U.S. protection and dual-use applied sciences to Hong Kong because it does for China.”
In a statement to Reuters, Kurt Tong, a former U.S. consul basic in Hong Kong, mentioned that the U.S. authorities’s selections as we speak wouldn’t impression a considerable amount of commerce between the U.S. and Hong Kong as a result of the territory is just not a serious manufacturing middle and its economic system is usually providers.
In keeping with figures from the Office of the United States Trade Representative, Hong Kong accounted for two.2% of general U.S. exports in 2018, totaling $37.three billion, with the highest export classes being electrical equipment, valuable steel and stones, artwork and antiques, and beef. However the brand new restrictions may make harder for U.S. semiconductor and different expertise corporations to do enterprise with Hong Kong shoppers.
Different restrictions proposed by the US together with ending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong.
Each the State and Commerce departments mentioned that the restrictions have been put into place for nationwide safety causes. “We are able to now not distinguish between the export of managed gadgets to Hong Kong or to mainland China,” Pompeo wrote. “We can not danger these things falling into the fingers of the Folks’s Liberation Military, whose main goal is to uphold the dictatorship of the CCP by any means obligatory.”
In his statement, Ross mentioned, “With the Chinese language Communist Occasion’s imposition of recent safety measures on Hong Kong, the danger that delicate U.S. expertise can be diverted to the Folks’s Liberation Military or Ministry of State Safety has elevated, all whereas undermining the territory’s autonomy.”