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It was pretty clear this was coming since Secretary Pompeo announced Wednesday that Hong Kong was no longer autonomous from China. Today President Trump gave a short speech at the White House saying he was moving to eliminate policy exemptions that give Hong Kong special treatment. President Trump also announced that he was cutting funding for the WHO and would redirect that money elsewhere.
“China claims it is protecting national security,” Trump said. He continued, “But the truth is that Hong Kong was secure and prosperous as a free society. Beijing’s decision reverses all of that. It extends the reach of China’s invasive state security apparatus into what was formerly a bastion of liberty.” He added that it was clear, “Hong Kong is no longer sufficiently autonomous to warrant the special treatment that we have afforded the territories since the handover.”
“China has replaced this promised formula of ‘one country, two systems’ with ‘one country, one system.’ Therefore I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment.”
He added that the State Department’s travel advisory for Hong Kong would also be updated to reflect the added possibility of surveillance and interference by Chinese state security forces. Trump also said there would be additional sanctions placed on Chinese individuals responsible for “smothering Hong Kong’s freedom.”
The NY Times reports that it’s still not clear if this is going to be a wholesale repeal of Hong Kong’s special status or more of a piecemeal approach:
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