The U.S. is likely to impose sanctions against China if it enacts a new national security law that would erode Hong Kong's autonomy, White House National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien said Sunday.
The legislation, announced last week during China's National People's Congress, will allow Beijing to take over in Hong Kong, O'Brien said. That would make it unlikely that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo could certify that the city, a former British colony, had a "high degree" of autonomy, which would result in sanctions against China under the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, O'Brien said.
A Hong Kong student died Friday from injuries he sustained when he fell one floor in a parking garage while police were dispersing an anti-government demonstration.
The university student, 22-year-old Chow Tsz-lok, was the first student to die in months of pro-democracy demonstrations in the Chinese-ruled former British colony. Thousands of people, including police officers, have also been injured since the unrest started in June.
Chow's death was expected to fuel further anger against the government and police, who have been accused of using excessive force against demonstrators. Dozens of angry students responded to the news by vandalizing the president's residence and several cafeterias at the school Chow attended, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.