WASHINGTON (HRNW) – The United States on Monday ended sensitive defense exports to Hong Kong, further ramping up pressure in a row over the financial capital s autonomy from China.
The US announced the decision hours after China said it would curb visas to some Americans heading to Hong Kong, itself a tit-for-tat response to a US move.
The United States has been leading a global uproar over a national security law expected to be shortly approved by China, which Hong Kong activists say would destroy the city s freedoms.
“We can no longer distinguish between the export of controlled items to Hong Kong or to mainland China,” Pompeo said in a statement.
“We cannot risk these items falling into the hands of the People s Liberation Army, whose primary purpose is to uphold the dictatorship of the CCP by any means necessary,” he said, referring to the Chinese Communist Party.
The direct impact will be modest. The State Department last year approved $2.4 million in defense sales to Hong Kong, of which $1.4 million worth were actually sent, including firearms and ammunition for law enforcement, according to official figures.
The Commerce Department simultaneously said it was revoking its special status for Hong Kong.