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Secretary of State Pompeo officially declares that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous

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Photo by NICHOLAS KAMM/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Wednesday that Hong Kong is officially no longer autonomous from China following Beijing's decision to impose a new national security law that outlaws "foreign interference" and pro-democracy demonstrations in the city.

"Beijing's disastrous decision [to impose the law] 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.

"No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground," he added.

Pompeo noted that it is the State Department's responsibility under the Hong Kong Policy Act to assess the territory's autonomy and that, given the latest developments, he certified to Congress the department's position.

He added that the "decision gives me no pleasure," before stating that "the United States stands with the people of Hong Kong as they struggle against the Chinese Communist Party's increasing denial of the autonomy that they were promised."

Last week, pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmakers sounded the alarm about the inevitable implications of the new national security law now recognized by the State Department.

"I just want to say to the international community that this is the end of Hong Kong. This is the end of one country, two systems," said lawyer and lawmaker Dennis Kwok. "Make no mistake about it."

On Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters that President Trump is "displeased" with China's efforts and that "it's hard to see how Hong Kong can remain a financial hub if China takes over."

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