At the end of June 2020, the People’s Republic of China imposed the sweeping National Security Law on Hong Kong, further undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. Over the course of this crackdown, Beijing and Hong Kong authorities have arbitrarily delayed scheduled elections, disqualified lawmakers, undermined press freedom, and arrested more than 10,000 people. The PRC has fundamentally altered the bedrock of Hong Kong’s institutions and suppressed freedoms of Hong Kongers. Despite widespread demonstrations, which brought millions together to call for greater freedom, Hong Kong’s promise of democracy has dimmed. Today, President Biden directed Deferred Enforced Departure for Hong Kong residents in the United States for 18 months, joining our partners and allies in offering safe haven should residents fear returning to Hong Kong.
In the face of PRC and Hong Kong authorities’ attempts to stifle democratic aspirations, we will take action. We will continue to stand up for the human rights and freedoms guaranteed to people in Hong Kong by the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. Today we send a clear message that the United States resolutely stands with people in Hong Kong.