US could reassess Hong Kong's status: Pompeo warns China

Washington DC [USA], May 18 (ANI): US Secretary of State Micheal Pompeo warned China on Sunday that the United States could review Hong Kong's status in view of alleged interference by the Beijing with the work of American journalists in Chinese autonomous region.

"Any decision impinging on Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory," Pompeo said in an official statement.

Pompeo said he had been alerted to threats by the Chinese government to "interfere with the work of American journalists in Hong Kong."

"It has recently come to my attention that the Chinese government has threatened to interfere with the work of American journalists in Hong Kong. These journalists are members of a free press, not propaganda cadres, and their valuable reporting informs Chinese citizens and the world," Pompeo said.

The US-China standoff escalated in March after China expelled US journalists from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post, The Hill reported.

On May 22, State Department is slated to issue a report to US Congress on the state of the former British colony's autonomy from China, which guarantees it special treatment, Sputnik reported.

Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, the two world powers have been at loggerheads on several issues, of which, many are pertaining to the novel coronavirus. (ANI)