The pro-independence Hong Kong National Party (HKNP) has issued an open letter to the US Consulate, as well as letters to Senator Marco Rubio and President Donald Trump, calling for the abolition of the city’s special status in American law.
Under the existing United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, the US supports democratisation and human rights for Hong Kong. The country’s special policy towards the city – which is different from its policy towards China – is only justified if Hong Kong is “sufficiently autonomous.”
As evidence of the “disappearance” of Hong Kong’s rule of law and judicial independence, HKNP cited successful appeals made by the Department of Justice for harsher sentences against 16 pro-democracy and land rights activists, as well as the disqualification of six democratically-elected lawmakers.
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“The judgements handed down by the Hong Kong courts in the past year… is indisputable proof that Hong Kong’s judiciary is in full collusion with the Chinese Colonial forces to suppress Hong Kong’s civil rights,” said a statement accompanying the letters.
HKNP said that the joint checkpoint arrangement was a further area of concern. The proposal for the West Kowloon terminus of the Express Rail Link will involve “leasing” land to China and effectively giving up Hong Kong jurisdiction across a quarter of the terminus for faster immigration procedures by mainland law enforcement agents.
“That Hong Kong officials would surrender the city’s jurisdiction over its own territory so easily shows their powerlessness in the face of the Chinese Colonialists’ attempts at conquest, however ‘legal’ they might be,” said HKNP.
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The HKNP said that the prerequisites for the Hong Kong Policy Act were no longer being fulfilled, and urged for its abolition. Convener Andy Chan said in the statement that the move was in line with President Trump’s policy to impose economic sanctions on China.
“By removing Hong Kong’s special status from China, the US will surely damage China’s economy significantly, and the US’ economic supremacy over China will surely be reinforced.”
“We understand it is a concern of the Government that termination of differential treatment in favor of Hong Kong may cause Hongkongers to suffer. Nevertheless, this special status of Hong Kong has long been abused by its communist colonizer, tapping economic benefits therefrom without paying any respect to the values behind it,” the letter to the US Consulate said.
See more: US politicians warn Hong Kong’s special status may be axed amid ‘political prosecution’ of democracy figures
On August 17, House Representative Chris Smith and Senator Rubio, both of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, issued a strong statement criticising the increase in “political prosecutions” of pro-democracy protesters. US Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi also released a hard-hitting statement saying that the appeal court’s ruling should “shock the conscience of the world,” and calling on America to “speak out against such injustices.”
In June, a bipartisan group of five US House representatives introduced a resolution calling on China to uphold Hong Kong’s autonomy, which they said it is the US’ national interest.