The United States is suspending its extradition treaty with Hong Kong for the time being. A tax agreement on the shipment of goods has also been cancelled.
The measures are the latest in a series in which Washington expresses dislike of Beijing’s interference in Hong Kong’s legal system.
Beijing this year enforced a security law on the autonomous region that allows the People’s Republic authorities to prosecute people in Hong Kong.
The American government believes that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous, as agreed when the former British crown colony was transferred to China in 1997.
Thanks to its autonomous status, the region retained its role as a leading Western trading metropolis in Asia.
The Hong Kong government has reacted angrily because these are bilateral treaties that must be adhered to. It is unrelated to the preferential treatment in mutual trade that Washington previously gave to Hong Kong and that the Americans are now abandoning.
According to Hong Kong, the new measures run counter to the principles of international cooperation and trade. Hong Kong is about to complain about the cancellation of the tax agreement to the World Trade Organization (WHO).