İrem UZUN -TDO- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has condemned China's plan to impose a new security law in Hong Kong, calling it a "death knell" for the city's freedoms. "The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal, abide by its international obligations, and respect Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and civil liberties," Pompeo said in a statement on Friday.
Pompeo's statement is likely to raise the tension between two countries, whose relation have been strained recently by disputes over trade and the coronavirus pandemic. Moreover, U.S. President Donald Trump approved the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” last year, which requires the U.S. government to impose sanctions against China and Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses in Hong Kong, and requires the United States Department of State and other agencies to conduct an annual review to determine whether changes in Hong Kong's political status justify changing the unique, favorable trade relations between the U.S. and Hong Kong. While the Chinese Foreign Ministry considered Washington's step as a "serious" intervention in China's internal affairs, Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying declared China would retaliate the official visits of U.S. navy ships and aircraft to Hong Kong and impose sanctions to the U.S.-based non-governmental organizations that "performed poorly" during the protests in Hong Kong.