Since its establishment in 2000, the Commission has closely followed the situation in Hong Kong. Under the 1992 Hong Kong Policy Act, the Congress enumerated elements of Hong Kong’s special economic, judicial, legal, and political status. In 2019, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act required the Secretary of State to certify annually whether Hong Kong warrants its unique treatment under various treaties, agreements, and U.S. law.
On May 27, 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo issued a statement reading: “I certified to Congress today that 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. No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.”
The following issue brief provides a general overview of key elements of Hong Kong’s special status in relation to the United States.