U.S. Has No Basis to Give Hong Kong Special Treatment, Pompeo Says
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said Sunday that the United States now has no basis to treat Hong Kong more favorably than mainland China, as Beijing moved to pass a bill to curb the region’s freedom.
The comment highlighted the growing tension between the world’s two largest economies amid the coronavirus pandemic and a new flare-up in pro-democracy protests on the island territory.
Pompeo, appearing on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” said that China’s leadership has broken its promise of preserving Hong Kong’s autonomy by pursing tighter control over Hong Kong. China’s rubber-stamp legislature this week approved a proposal for a sweeping set of new laws aimed to quell the unrest by punishing subversion, secession, terrorism and foreign interference.
“It is a different Chinese Communist Party today than it was 10 years ago,” Pompeo said. The party is “intent upon the destruction of Western ideas, Western democracies, Western values.”
Pompeo in the past week decertified the former British colony’s autonomy under U.S. law., which may result in potentially serious trade consequences. On Sunday, Pompeo said President Donald Trump has ordered to review every preferential treatment that Hong Kong has had and will work to eliminate them.
Trump vowed “strong” and “meaningful” actions against China on Friday while providing few specifics.
“If the Chinese are going to treat Hong Kong the same way they treat mainland China, there’s no basis for the United States to treat it differently as well,” Pompeo said.
Hong Kong’s government said actions threatened by Trump are “unjustified” and the People’s Daily, the mouthpiece of China’s Communist Party, wrote that the plans outlined by the U.S. president were “gross interference” in Beijing’s affairs and were “doomed to fail.”
Pompeo also restated the U.S. position that European governments should stop doing business with China’s Huawei Technologies Co., whose advanced technology and global reach make it popular for nations looking to build out fast 5G networks.
The U.S. has repeatedly sanctioned Huawei and other Chinese technology companies for breaking U.S. sanctions, blacklisted them and accused them of being a threat to U.S. security.
Europe “needs to get it out of their system,” Pompeo said of Huawei. “They need to use Western technologies.”
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