JEAIL > Volume 13(1); 2020 > Issue Focus
Research Paper
Published online: May 30, 2020

From Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 to Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019: The Evolution of the US’s Hong Kong Policy in the Context of the Rise of China

Jie Liu & Congyan Cai
School of Law at Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian, P.R. China, 361000.
Corresponding Author:

ⓒ Copyright YIJUN Institute of International Law
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

The US has huge interests in Hong Kong. In 1992, a few years before China resumed its sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997, the US adopted the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992. The keynote of the Act is to enhance the cooperation with and maintain the treatment to Hong Kong. This tune has changed in the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, which is obviously the response of the US to widespread protests in Hong Kong arising from the Extradition Bill proposed by the Government of Hong Kong SAR. The new law includes several negative elements. It marks a change in the US policy towards Hong Kong and furthermore represents a change in the US policy towards China. The new law should not merely be understood as the US’s support for democracy and human rights in Hong Kong. Instead, it should be considered as a major leverage which the US may maneuver to engage a rising China.

Keywords : Hong Kong Policy Act, Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, the US’s China Policy, Rise of China

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