The Trump administration expressed its grave concern about Hong Kong’s proposed amendments to its fugitive offenders ordinance, saying it would permit Chinese authorities to request the extradition of individuals, if passed. “The United States expresses its grave concern about the Hong Kong government’s proposed amendments to its fugitive offenders ordinance, which, if passed, would permit Chinese authorities to request the extradition of individuals to mainland China,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus told reporters.
The peaceful demonstration by hundreds of thousands of Hong Kongers a day earlier clearly shows the public’s opposition to the proposed amendments, she said.
The United States shares the concern of many in Hong Kong that the lack of procedural protections in the proposed amendments could undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and negatively impact the territory’s longstanding protections of human rights, fundamental freedoms, and democratic values, as enshrined in the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration, she said.
We are also concerned that the amendments could damage Hong Kong’s business environment and subject our citizens residing in or visiting Hong Kong to China’s capricious judicial system, Ortagus said.
Last month Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with a delegation of pro-democracy leaders from Hong Kong to discuss their broad reservations about the extradition proposal.
We believe that any amendments to the fugitive offenders ordinance should be pursued with great care and in full consultation with a broad range of local and international stakeholders who may be affected by the amendments, she said.
The continued erosion of the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ framework puts at risk Hong Kong’s long-established special status in international affairs, Ortagus said.