WASHINGTON – Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James released the following statement Thursday after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that Hong Kong no longer warrants the separate treatment under U.S. law applied before its turnover to the Chinese government in 1997:
“This is a sad day for this city of 8 million people, and it is one that became inevitable given the Chinese Communist Party’s treatment of Hong Kong.
“It was the Chinese Communist Party, through a series of aggressive and unwarranted actions in the last few years, that compromised Hong Kong’s autonomy. China’s threat to now bypass Hong Kong’s own legal processes to enact national security legislation only makes clear what we have already come to know: ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is no more.
"By violating an international treaty to allow Hong Kong to maintain its autonomy, China has shackled a free and prosperous people and reminded the world once again that its word cannot be trusted.
“We at Heritage know the jewel that Hong Kong and its wonderful people are to the world. Hong Kong led our annual Index of Economic Freedom since the index’s inception in 1995 and has every year since—until this year, that is, when it ranked second. Though the hour is late, we call on the leaders of Beijing to cease and desist from their present course and allow Hong Kong to continue to flourish as a place of personal and economic freedom.”