AP Diplomatic Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has notified Congress that the Trump administration no longer regards Hong Kong as autonomous from mainland China, setting the stage for U.S. to withdraw the former British colony's preferential trade and financial status it has enjoyed since it reverted to Chinese rule 23 years ago.
The move does not carry any immediate penalties, which would have to be decided by President Donald Trump in consultation with Congress. But the administration sees it as putting China on notice that Hong Kong's perks are in jeopardy.
"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 Wednesday.