In April 2019, the Hong Kong government formally proposed an extradition bill that would—if passed into law—increase the territory’s susceptibility to Beijing’s political coercion and further erode Hong Kong’s autonomy. The bill, which followed a minimal public comment period and could face a final vote before July 2019, would amend Hong Kong’s laws to allow ad hoc extraditions to mainland China and over 100 countries and territories without mutual extradition arrangements with Hong Kong. In addition to further intruding into Hong Kong’s affairs, the proposed bill could create serious risks for U.S. national security and economic interests in Hong Kong, and potentially violate several key provisions of the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, which outlines U.S. policy toward the territory. This issue brief provides background on the bill and observers’ concerns with the proposal, risks posed to U.S. interests in Hong Kong, and considerations for Congress.
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission was created by the United States Congress in October 2000 with the legislative mandate to monitor, investigate, and submit to Congress an annual report on the national security implications of the bilateral trade and economic relationship between the United States and the People’s Republic of China, and to provide recommendations, where appropriate, to Congress for legislative and administrative action.