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REPORT: A Policy Roadmap to Support the People of Hong Kong

Updated: Feb 3

A Policy Roadmap to Support the People of Hong Kong_Final
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It has been almost three years since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) instituted the National Security Law (NSL) in Hong Kong in July 2020. The law – implemented in response to largely peaceful protests throughout 2019 and 2020 – has been used to reshape the political landscape of the city-state. The NSL granted the CCP the unfettered ability to meddle in every aspect of life in Hong Kong, effectively dismantling the rule of law and judicial system that made Hong Kong an attractive destination for international business. The NSL has also led to the jailing of pro-democracy activists, the closure and muzzling of much of the free press, and substantially ceded power from Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China (PRC).

In response, the U.S. President decertified Hong Kong’s special status, making clear that Hong Kong was no longer sufficiently autonomous from the PRC to merit separate treatment under U.S. law.[1] Since then, the U.S. government has undertaken valiant efforts to disentangle itself from the apparatus that secured Hong Kong’s unique treatment under U.S. law. These efforts have been coupled with policies to support the people of Hong Kong. But as of today, many of these efforts remain incomplete and require an update.

Because of the precipitous decline in Hong Kong’s protections of freedom and human rights, many have assumed that there is little that can be done to respond. Hong Kong has even been labeled as a lost cause. While it may be true that – in the short-term – it is unlikely that Hong Kong will revert to its previous freedom-loving, semi-autonomous state, it is inaccurate to say that there are no tools at the U.S. and the international community’s disposal to hold the CCP and Hong Kong officials accountable and alleviate the suffering of the Hong Kong people.