As Beijing starts to tighten leadership over Hong Kong, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the United States will no longer export defense equipment which originated from the US to the city.
According to Pompeo, since mainland China decided to draw a line on Hong Kong's freedom, it has prompted the US to rethink its policies on exporting defense equipment to the territory. He also added that the US will also be taking steps in imposing and applying the same restrictions and policies regarding the use of US defense and technologies of dual-use to Hong Kong, the same way it does with China.
A report by the New York Post stated that Pompeo defended the US's decision to do so as a necessary action in order to protect the national security of the country. He also noted that this is also because the US can no longer identify the difference if the controlled items are exported to Hong Kong or if the exports will also be controlled by mainland China.
The decision of the US followed the approval of the national security law in the Communist nation. The said law gives Chinese authorities to crack down on activities in Hong Kong, South China Morning Post reported.
Meanwhile, many had negative reactions toward the decision and said that it has become part of the bold efforts of the Communist Party of China to crack down on the semi-autonomous territory that has functioned separately from the mainland.
It can be recalled that in the past year, democratic protests have erupted all over Hong Kong against China's plans to tighten its grip on the former British colony, according to The New York Times.
In light of this, the State Department has expressed its opposition to the bill and said that it will place restrictions on the visa of officials from the CCP who are involved in the efforts in restricting the autonomy of Hong Kong.
China retaliates by banning the visa of Americans interfering with its affairs with Hong Kong.
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian, China has decided a tit-for-tat response on the visa ban imposed by the US with their own visa ban by banning US citizens who interfere with the matters relating to its relationship with Hong Kong.
Meanwhile, Pompeo retaliated by calling out the CCP on Twitter by saying that the Communist government of China has refused to take responsibility for breaking a commitment that they have made with Hong Kong's people and has shown this through threatening the US with visa restrictions.
President @realDonaldTrump promised to punish the CCP officials responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms. Today, we are taking action to do just that– we've announced visa restrictions on CCP officials responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and human rights. — Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) June 26, 2020
The continuous word war between the two countries has affected their relationship which has already been badly strained by the issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This started after Trump, Pompeo and many prominent figures in the international community has called out the Communist Party's actions in handling the then coronavirus outbreak which later on became the pandemic that caused the global health crisis.