The United States began eliminating Hong Kong’s special status under US law on Monday, halting defense exports and restricting the territory’s access to high technology products as China prepares new Hong Kong security legislation, reported Reuters.
The Commerce Department said it was suspending “preferential treatment to Hong Kong over China, including the availability of export license exceptions,” adding that further actions to eliminate Hong Kong’s privileged status were being evaluated. The parliament’s standing committee has been widely expected to pass the bill into law before its current meeting ends on Tuesday.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s decision to eviscerate Hong Kong’s freedoms has forced the Trump administration to re-evaluate its policies toward the territory,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
He said effective Monday, Washington was ending exports of defense equipment to Hong Kong and would take steps to end export of dual-use technologies to the territory. Such technologies have commercial and military uses.