TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin has warned that, if Beijing intervenes directly to crack down on increasingly violent Hong Kong protests, the city could lose its special U.S. trade status, Reuters reported on Wednesday (Aug. 14).
Cardin told Reuters ,“I can assure you that if China comes down hard on the protesters that there will be action in Congress to enforce the autonomy agreements that were entered into that are part of the special recognition of Hong Kong.” According to the news agency, the senator also said such action had support on both sides of the aisle.
A U.S. law passed in 1922 gives Hong Kong preferential treatment in visas, law enforcement and investment.
Cardin said Hong Kong was afforded the special status in exchange for the “one country-two systems” arrangement after the city was handed over to China by Britain in 1997.
Cardin was further quoted by Reuters as saying, “If China interferes with the autonomy of Hong Kong, then it does affect our agreements in regard to Hong Kong as far as the trade zone is concerned.”