U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has strongly condemned China’s newly enacted national security law on Hong Kong due to its sweeping provisions and safety of everyone living in the territory, including Americans.
Speaking to members of the media on Wednesday, Pompeo said that security forces are already moving around Hong Kong and arresting Hong Kongers for daring to think and speak freely.
He also believes the rules of law has been evescerated and it was clearly “an affront to all nations.” The Chinese legislature, the National People’s Congress, adopted the national security law for Hong Kong on Tuesday, a day before the 23rd anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule.
Pompeo also added that the new law applies harsh penalties to offenses commited outside of Hong Kong and even by nonresidents of the said territory. Crimes such as damaging public transportation could be considered as a terrorist activity punsihable by life imprisonment.
“Article 38 of the new law also purports to apply to offenses committed outside of Hong Kong by nonresidents of Hong Kong, and this likely includes Americans. This is outrageous and an affront to all nations,” Pompeo said.
On March 30, 2020, China’s National People’s Congress Standing Committee approved the controversial security law despite its threat on the region’s “one country, two systems” framework.
Pompeo said President Donald Trump wants to ensure that, with a handful exceptions, Hong Kong is treated just like mainland China because that is the way President Xi Jinping has chosen to treat the territory.
He also stressed that the Trump administration will basically strip Hong Kong of its special economic status. It also announced that the country will cut all its exports of defense equipment and dual-use technology through Hong Kong.