Just hours after the same remarks caused Beijing to strike out, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s staff teased Beijing by advising Hong Kong not to approve a contentious extradition law.
“If passed, the ordinance would permit Chinese authorities to request the extradition of individuals to mainland China, and submit such individuals to China’s capricious judicial system,” a State Department representative told the Washington Examiner Friday afternoon.
This warning was conveyed in defiance of the communist state, which earlier on Friday called a senior American ambassador to the Chinese Foreign Ministry to lodge a complaint in person about alleged “interference” in the dispute. Legislators in the United States have been announcing that the enactment of the bill, which sparked widespread demonstrations last week, may result in a revision of the federal statute that grants Hong Kong special economic and trading status.
“China called on the United States … to immediately stop all interference in Hong Kong’s affairs and stop taking action that would affect the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said following Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng’s meeting with Robert Forden, the second-in-command at the U.S. embassy.
That meeting took place after a bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers reintroduced legislation that would “require the secretary of state to issue an annual certification of Hong Kong’s autonomy to justify special treatment afforded to Hong Kong.”
As long as the mainland communist authorities permitted Hong Kong to maintain its capitalist system that it inherited from the United Kingdom, the U.S. chose to treat the former British colony as a separate economic entity from China. This policy has been crucial to Hong Kong’s recent economic success.
Under the extradition bill, communist authorities might arrest anyone in Hong Kong as long as they could prove to a Hong Kong judge through a signed statement that the individual had committed a certain type of crime in mainland China. Opponents have warned that it would lead to “legalised kidnapping,” a worry that has recently forced hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong citizens into the streets.
“We continue to urge the Hong Kong government to consult with the broad range of local and international stakeholders who may be affected by proposed amendments and ensure that the Legislative Council is able to give proper scrutiny to the proposals,” the State Department spokesperson said.
- Published By Team Hongkong Journalist