Moment of Truth for Hong Kong and China: The Hill

China violates international norms on a number of fronts, from failure to protect intellectual property to ongoing support for North Korea, writes Joseph Bosco for the Hill. Many democracies, eager to protect business interests with the world’s second largest economy, remain silent about steady erosion in rights. In the midst of the pandemic, China moves to take more control over Hong Kong, overriding policies protecting two systems until 2047. “Not content to wait until 2047 to absorb Hong Kong into its Greater China empire, it has gradually squeezed the territory’s autonomy…,” he notes. “The constrictions on Hong Kong’s limited freedoms – such as a proposed law last year allowing extradition to China – sparked massive protests by Hong Kong residents. The demonstrations have been supported morally and rhetorically by Western governments and media, which Beijing has seized upon to charge foreign interference….” The US State Department has delayed its annual certification of Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status, and China may anticipate sanctions. More severe punishment would be an end to the special status, including visa-free travel and preferential trade treatment, even while harming Hong Kong as well as many US businesses. Bosco urges decisive, strong action to stop the aggression. Update: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggests Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, but announced no specific consequences. – YaleGlobal

Moment of Truth for Hong Kong and China: The Hill

China takes steps to extend control over Hong Kong, testing US support for the territory’s special status allowing preferential trade treatment
Joseph Bosco
Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Hong Kong Four Key Industries: financial services, tourism, trading and logistics and professional services
Foreign capital: Hong Kong depends on foreign connections for so much revenue and jobs (Source: Hong Kong Monthly Digest of Statistics – Four Key Industries of Hong Kong Economy)

"No reasonable person can assert that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given the facts on the ground," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced.

Read the opinion essay from the Hill about measures the United States could take to respond to China’s proposed national security law for Hong Kong. 

Joseph Bosco served as China country director for the secretary of Defense from 2005 to 2006 and as Asia-Pacific director of humanitarian assistance and disaster relief from 2009 to 2010. He is a nonresident fellow at the Institute for Corean-American Studies and a member of the advisory board of the Global Taiwan Institute.

Also read the article from Reuters about “How Ending Hong Kong’s ‘Special Status’ Could Affect US Companies.”

Also read the US State Department’s “2019 Investment Climate Statements: Hong Kong”:

“Hong Kong remains an excellent destination for U.S. investment and trade. Despite a population of less than eight million, Hong Kong is America’s tenth-largest export market, seventh-largest for total agricultural products, and fifth-largest for high-value consumer food and beverage products…. Hong Kong hosts a large number of regional headquarters and regional offices. More than 1,400 U.S. companies are based in Hong Kong, with more than half regional in scope.”

The statement considers policies on foreign direct investment, limits on foreign control and right to private ownership, transparency of the regulatory system, judicial independence, competition and anti-trust laws, dispute settlement processes, bankruptcy regulations, investment incentives, intellectual property rights, money and banking system, corruption, labor policies and more.

Hong Kong Trade, US$ Billions	 Top Export Destinations 	 Vietnam	$10  India	$10  Other Asia	$12  Thailand	$13  China	$16  	 Top Import Origins	 Japan	$32  S Korea	$35  Other Asia	$41  Singapore	$61  China	$255
(Source: Observatory of Economic Complexity, 2017)


FDI Inflows for Hong Kong	 Other	7% US	1% Japan	2% Bermuda	2% Singapore	10% Cayman I	19% China 	21% British Virgin I	38%
(Source: Hong Kong Statistics, 2017)