United States–Hong Kong Policy Act

The United States–Hong Kong Policy Act, or more commonly known as the Hong Kong Policy Act (P.L. no. 102-383m 106 Stat. 1448) or Hong Kong Relations Act, is a 1992 act enacted by the United States Congress. It allows the United States to continue to treat Hong Kong separately from Mainland China for matters concerning trade export and economics control after the 1997 handover.[1]

United States–Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992
Great Seal of the United States
Long titleAn Act to set forth the policy of the United States with respect to Hong Kong, and for other purposes.
Enacted bythe 102nd United States Congress
Public lawPub.L. 102–383
Statutes at Large106 Stat. 1448
U.S.C. sections created22 U.S.C. §§ 57015732
Legislative history
Major amendments
Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act

The Act was amended on November 27, 2019 by the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.[2]


The act states that Hong Kong maintains its own export control system as long as it adapts to international standards. The act also pertains to "sensitive technologies", which require Hong Kong to protect the technologies from improper use.[1] The U.S will fulfill its obligation to Hong Kong under international agreements regardless of whether the People's Republic of China is a participant of the particular agreement until the obligations are modified or terminated.[3] Should Hong Kong become less autonomous, the US president may change the way the laws are applied.[1] The State Department's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Export Controls has stated US will not prejudge the situation in advance of monitoring efforts.[1]

Due to the Act COCOM members designated Hong Kong a "cooperating country" since 1992 until CoCom ceased to function in 1994.[1]


In the run-up to the handover of Hong Kong, former Senator Jesse Helms (then chairman of the U.S. Senate's Foreign Relations Committee and a supporter of the Act) wrote in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal of the benefits that the Act had for relations between Hong Kong and the United States.[4]

Beijing criticized the act, describing it as foreign interference into the domestic affairs of the PRC.[5]

Academics, members from/organizations with the Hong Kong pro-democracy camp and U.S. Congresspersons have called for the Act to be reviewed in connection with the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill proposal, the ensuing protests against it and the subsequent introduction of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e Hong Kong's reversion to China: effective monitoring critical to assess U.S. DIANE Publishing. ISBN 1-4289-7837-2
  2. ^ Wang, Christine (November 27, 2019). "Trump signs bills backing Hong Kong protesters into law, in spite of Beijing's objections". CNBC. Retrieved November 28, 2019.
  3. ^ Lauterpacht, Elihu. Greenwood, C J. Lee, Karen. Oppenheimer, Andrew G. International Law Reports. [2002] (2002). Cambridge University. ISBN 0-521-80775-1.
  4. ^ Helms, Jesse (June 20, 1997). "We Will Take Up Hong Kong's Fight". WSJ. WSJ. In 1992, my colleagues and I in the U.S. Congress passed, and President George Bush signed, the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act, making U.S. support for the Joint Declaration a matter of law while pledging continued close bilateral relations based on Hong Kong's autonomy from China. More significantly, the Act directly linked Hong Kong's autonomy to future U.S.-Hong Kong relations by authorizing the president to determine whether Hong Kong is autonomous and, if it is not, to suspend laws according Hong Kong separate treatment from the PRC. Therefore, if China wishes to benefit from U.S. investment, the vast majority of which goes through Hong Kong, then China had better not fool around with Hong Kong's autonomy.
  5. ^ Chan, Ming K. The Challenge of Hong Kong's Reintegration With China. [1997] (1997). Hong Kong University Press. ISBN 962-209-441-4.
  6. ^ Some relevant sources include:

External linksEdit