In my opinion, China has a lot more to answer for than just how and why the spread of COVID-19 got to the scale the entire world has experienced the last few months. Their communist government needs to to explain how they are grabbing power during a time when the rest of the world is standing still. China can no longer, under any circumstances, be trusted for the forseeable future.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had some harsh words for the communist Chinese government on Wednesday after declaring that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China. The declaration comes just days after Beijing announced the imposition of new security laws in Hong Kong that will essentially "crush dissent," according to CNN.
"Beijing’s disastrous decision is only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms and China’s own promises to the Hong Kong people under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, a U.N.-filed international treaty," Pompeo said in a statement.
Pompeo also tweeted the news:
Today, I reported to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, given facts on the ground. The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong.— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 27, 2020
Here's more of what Pompeo said in the statement:
The State Department is required by the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the autonomy of the territory from China. After careful study of developments over the reporting period, I certified to Congress today that Hong Kong does not continue to warrant treatment under United States laws in the same manner as U.S. laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1997. No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground.
Hong Kong and its dynamic, enterprising, and free people have flourished for decades as a bastion of liberty, and this decision gives me no pleasure. But sound policy making requires a recognition of reality. While the United States once hoped that free and prosperous Hong Kong would provide a model for authoritarian China, it is now clear that China is modeling Hong Kong after itself.
If you remember, pro-freedom protesters in Hong Kong gained international attention in 2019 for demonstrating in order to prevent mainland China from reasserting its rule over the region. Hong Kong had a "one country, two systems" agreement with China that granted people in Hong Kong freedoms that the people in China don't have.
All of this protesting stopped, and China's efforts to exert its communist rule over Hong Kong regained steam, once COVID-19 was recognized as a serious virus.