Then China decided to dismantle Hong Kong’s “One Country, Two Systems” status — a measure of autonomy enjoyed by the former British colony to last 50 years when handed over to China in 1997.
China responded to ongoing demonstrations by purging Hong Kong history texts, banning pro-democracy slogans and songs, arresting opposition leaders, detaining peaceful protestors and installing secret police.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called it the “death knell” for Hong Kong autonomy, putting special trading privileges at risk. Last year Congress mandated that the State Department must certify Hong Kong as “sufficiently autonomous” to justify tariff exemptions on $38 billion in trade.
The U.S. ordered the Chinese embassy in Houston closed, and China shuttered the U.S. embassy in Chengdu.
Pompeo declared 50 years of engaging China had failed, that Chinese President Xi Jinping is a “true believer in a bankrupt, totalitarian ideology.” “We must induce China to change,” he said, adding, or “Communist China will surely change us.”
Once again, Iowa farmers — second to Illinois in soybean exports, but first in pork and eggs —are in the cross hairs after two years of huge financial losses and shifting trade partnerships.
In May, a National Bureau of Economic Research report found “soybeans and meat products experiencing the most considerable redistribution effects” from trade retaliation.