China has decided to end any semblance of self-government for the city of Hong Kong. The mainland government could no longer tolerate either the protests against Chinese suppression of democracy on the island or a local legislature that sometimes bucked directives from the central authority in Beijing.
China shredded agreements, which were supposed to be in effect through 2047, to maintain a separate system of self-government in Hong Kong. The idea was known as “one country, two systems.” In May, China bypassed the democratically elected Legislative Council of Hong Kong to impose a national security law on the city.
China is only injuring its own interests and the people of Hong Kong by this decision. The U.S. and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are right to bring pressure on China to reverse course and maintain democratic rights in the island city. Many experts say the law will weaken Hong Kong’s reputation as a good place to do business.