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Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement on Sunday warning China that the U.S. would take action if authorities interfere with the work of American journalists in Hong Kong. 

Why it matters: It's the latest escalation in disputes between the U.S. and China about the source of the coronavirus outbreak, trade and the media. It comes as pro-democracy demonstrations have resumed in Hong Kong.

What he's saying: "It has recently come to my attention that the Chinese government has threatened to interfere with the work of American journalists in Hong Kong," Pompeo said.

  • "These journalists are members of a free press, not propaganda cadres, and their valuable reporting informs Chinese citizens and the world."
"Any decision impinging on Hong Kong’s autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory."

Background: On March 17, China announced it was canceling the press credentials of most U.S. journalists from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post — effectively expelling over a dozen U.S. journalists. The move came after the U.S. expelled about 60 Chinese state media workers several weeks earlier.

  • The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also said the expelled journalists would not be permitted to work in Hong Kong — an unprecedented restriction on the freedom of U.S. journalists to operate in the former British colony, which has previously operated with a high degree of autonomy from the mainland.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Aug 25, 2020 - Economy & Business

Ant Financial's IPO could be the largest of all time

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Ant Financial on Monday filed for an initial public offering in Hong Kong and Shanghai, after years of speculation and anticipation.

Why it matters: This could be the largest IPO of all time, topping the $29 billion raised last year by Saudi Aramco. It's also a passive aggressive escalation of China-U.S. tensions, with Ant snubbing New York.

Aug 25, 2020 - World

Taiwan targets Chinese tech

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Taiwan has recently issued a series of restrictions on Chinese tech companies, from streaming apps to e-commerce.

Why it matters: Critics say that recent U.S. restrictions on Chinese tech companies stem from Trumpism rather than legitimate concerns. But Taiwan is spooked by Chinese tech as well.

Donald Trump Jr.'s dark prediction: Silent majority could become "silenced majority"

Donald Trump Jr. in Phoenix, Arizona, June 23. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Donald Trump Jr. touted his father's response to the coronavirus pandemic and invoked the idea of "cancel culture" in his headline speech at the Republican National Convention on Monday.

Details: He warned that "Joe Biden and the radical left are also now coming for our freedom of speech and want to bully us into submission," adding:  "If they get their way, it will no longer be the 'silent majority,' it will be the "silenced majority.'"