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Implications of Secretary Pompeo’s Certification that Hong Kong No Longer Warrants Separate Treatment Under U.S. Law

May 29, 2020, Covington Alert

On May 27, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo certified to Congress pursuant to the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 that "Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997." In a statement, Secretary Pompeo attributed this action to the announced intention of China's legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC), to unilaterally impose national security legislation on Hong Kong, adding that this was "only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms and China's own promises to the Hong Kong people under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a UN-filed international treaty." Secretary Pompeo's certification has no immediate impact on the existing relationship between the United States and Hong Kong, but signifies that potentially dramatic changes are now in prospect.

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