The United States has warned that it has grave concern about proposed amendments to Hong Kong’s ordinance that would allow Chinese authorities to request the extradition of criminal suspects to mainland China.
The US called on the Hong Kong government to listen to a wide range of voices, from both inside and outside the autonomous region.
US State Department Spokesperson Morgan Ortagus made the comments on Monday, a day after what were said to be Hong Kong’s largest street protests since it was handed over from the UK in 1997. Clashes between protestors and police saw several injuries.
Ortagus said the proposed amendments to the fugitive offenders ordinance could undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy. She added that Americans living in or visiting Hong Kong may also be subject to “China’s capricious judicial system.”
Ortagus urged the Hong Kong government to pursue the amendments with great care and fully consult with a broad range of local and international stakeholders who may be affected.
The Chinese government said earlier that it opposes outside parties interfering with Hong Kong’s legislative activities and expressed wariness about foreign support for the protesters.
In May, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with a delegation of pro-democracy leaders from Hong Kong to discuss concerns over the amendments.