3 US AGREEMENTS WITH HK SUSPENDED
The Trump administration on Wednesday suspended or terminated three bilateral agreements with Hong Kong covering extradition and tax exemptions, the latest in a series of U.S. moves in response to China’s imposition of strict national security laws over the former British territory, according to an Associated Press report.
“The Chinese Communist Party chose to crush the freedoms and autonomy of the people of Hong Kong," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted.
The State Department cited Beijing's violation of its pledge for Hong Kong to retain broad autonomy for 50 years after its 1997 reversion to Chinese rule.
President Donald Trump already had determined that Hong Kong was no longer eligible for the continued preferential treatment it enjoyed from the U.S. The three agreements cover the surrender of fugitives, transfer and convicted prisoners and reciprocal tax exemptions on income from international shipping.
“These steps underscore our deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose the National Security Law, which has crushed the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
She said Hong Kong authorities had been notified earlier Wednesday of the decisions that were the result the Chinese Communist Party's “drastic steps to erode the high degree of autonomy that Beijing itself promised” to Hong Kong.