More information about Hong Kong is available on the China Country Page and from other Department of State publications and other sources listed at the end of this fact sheet.


In 1997, China resumed the exercise of sovereignty over Hong Kong, ending more than 150 years of British colonial rule.  Hong Kong is a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) entitled to a high degree of autonomy pursuant to the Sino-British Joint Declaration.  Hong Kong’s foreign relations and defense are the responsibility of the PRC.

U.S. legislation on Hong Kong is included in the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, and the Hong Kong Autonomy Act of 2020.  U.S. policy toward Hong Kong is grounded in the determination to promote Hong Kong’s prosperity, autonomy, and way of life.  The United States has significant economic interests in Hong Kong and the region is home to a large community of U.S. citizens.  The United States continues to advocate for protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong following the 2020 imposition of the National Security Law, which has resulted in the arrest and prosecution of numerous activists and ordinary citizens, including some for their activities outside of Hong Kong, for peaceful political expression critical of the central and local governments.

Since 2019, the PRC has repeatedly taken actions that are inconsistent with the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and the PRC’s obligation pursuant to the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 to allow Hong Kong to enjoy a high degree of autonomy.  After the PRC’s decision to unilaterally impose national security legislation on Hong Kong, the President determined pursuant to the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 that Hong Kong was no longer sufficiently autonomous to justify differential treatment in relation to the PRC for the purposes of the specific provisions of law set out in the President’s Executive Order on Hong Kong Normalization (E.O. 13936), issued on July 14, 2020.  E.O. 13936 suspended or eliminated certain aspects of differential treatment for Hong Kong.  The U.S. government has imposed financial sanctions on 42 PRC and Hong Kong officials under E.O. 13936 in connection with actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, or autonomy of Hong Kong.  The U.S. government has submitted reports under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act to identify PRC and Hong Kong officials who have materially contributed to the failure of the PRC to meet its obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law.

Economic Relations

Under the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which the PRC has taken actions to undermine by eroding protected rights and freedoms, Hong Kong is a separate customs territory and economic entity from mainland China and can maintain and develop economic and cultural relations and conclude relevant agreements with States, regions, and relevant international organizations.  In terms of investment, Hong Kong generally welcomes foreign investment, neither offering special incentives nor creating barriers for foreign investors. Despite the erosion of Hong Kong’s ability to exercise the degree of autonomy it enjoyed in the past, Hong Kong remains a popular destination for U.S. investment and trade.  Hong Kong is the United States’ twelfth-largest export market, thirteenth largest for total agricultural products, and sixth-largest for high-value consumer food and beverage products.   


Hong Kong’s economy, with a professional civil service and regulatory system, is bolstered by its competitive financial and professional services, trading, logistics, and tourism sectors.  Approximately 1,258 U.S. companies are based in Hong Kong, according to Hong Kong’s 2022 census data, with about half regional in scope.  The United States remains one of the largest sources of foreign direct investment stock in Hong Kong. 

Hong Kong is a separate customs territory from mainland China and is a full member of the World Trade Organization.  Hong Kong maintains a comprehensive strategic trade controls system that follows multilateral export control regimes, and our governments have historically worked together to maintain and strengthen measures to prevent illegal diversion of controlled items.  Hong Kong generally provides strong intellectual property (IP) protection and enforcement, and for the most part, has strong IP laws in place.  Hong Kong’s failure to modernize its copyright system has allowed it to become vulnerable to digital copyright piracy.  Hong Kong adopted the Copyright (Amendment) Ordinance 2022 through publication in the gazette in December 2022, to come into operation on May 1, 2023.  However, right holders are concerned that the new legislation does not introduce specific provisions to combat illicit streaming devices.

Hong Kong’s Membership in International Organizations

Hong Kong participates as a full member of several international economic organizations.  The United States and Hong Kong both belong to the World Trade Organization, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, and the Financial Action Task Force.  

Bilateral Representation

Principal officials are listed in the Department’s Key Officers List.

Hong Kong maintains three Economic and Trade Offices in the United States in Washington, DC; New York; and San Francisco.
China’s embassy in the United States is at 3505 International Place, NW, Washington, DC 20008; Tel.: (202) 495-2266 

More information about Hong Kong is available from the Department of State and other sources, some of which are listed here:

CIA World Factbook Hong Kong Page  
Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Countries Page 
U.S. Census Bureau Foreign Trade Statistics International Offices Page 
Travel Information

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future