We urge all sides to exercise restraint and refrain from violence. It is important for the Hong Kong Government to respect the freedoms of speech and assembly, as guaranteed by the Sino-British Joint Declaration, and for China to respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.
The ongoing demonstrations in Hong Kong reflect the sentiment of Hongkongers and their broad and legitimate concerns about the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy.
The United States has long supported democracy in Hong Kong in accordance with the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the aspirations of the Hong Kong people. Freedom of expression and freedom of association are core values that we share with Hong Kong; these freedoms must be vigorously protected.
We categorically reject the charge of foreign forces as being behind the protests. It is not credible to think millions of people are being manipulated to stand for a free and open society.
The continued erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy puts at risk its long-established special status in international affairs.