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US Ends Trio of Legal, Financial Pacts with Hong Kong

(FILES) In this file photo police arrest a man (C) and lead him to a nearby bus during a protest against China's planned national security law in Hong Kong on June 28, 2020. - American authorities on August 19, 2020 formally notified Hong Kong that…

The Trump administration has suspended or terminated three bilateral agreements with Hong Kong in its latest response over the new national security law imposed on the semi-autonomous city by China.

The U.S. State Department issued a statement Wednesday saying the agreements covered the extradition of fugitives and convicted persons, and tax exemptions on income from international shipping.

The administration has taken a series of steps against Beijing since it imposed the new law in June, which calls for punishing anyone in Hong Kong believed to be committing acts of secession, subversion, terrorism or colluding with foreign governments. The law was in response to last year’s massive and often violent pro-democracy demonstrations in the financial hub.

The U.S. and other Western nations say the measure effectively ends the “One Country, Two Systems” policy under which Hong Kong was promised a high degree of autonomy after the handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an order last month ending Hong Kong’s preferential trade and diplomatic status and has followed up with such actions as imposing sanctions on current Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and other officials in Hong Kong and mainland China.

“These steps underscore our deep concern regarding Beijing’s decision to impose the National Security Law, which has crushed the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong,” State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.