US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo certified to Congress on Wednesday that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from mainland China, opening the door to changes of its treatment under American law.

Pompeo cited in particular Beijing’s intention to apply national security legislation on Hong Kong, calling the National People’s Congress’s decision “disastrous” and one in a line “of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and China’s own promises to the Hong Kong people.”

“After careful study of developments over the reporting period, I certified to Congress today 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,” Pompeo said in a statement.

He was referring to the month when Hong Kong was formally transferred to China by the British with the promise that it remain semi-autonomous. 

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