But the relationship between Beijing and Hong Kong's residents has grown increasingly fraught in recent years, with the city periodically erupting into massive demonstration against what protesters and the USA call Beijing's attempts to encroach on its freedoms. The region again saw clashes between protesters and riot police last weekend.
"Beijing's barbarous actions targeting the Uighur people are an outrage to the collective conscience of the world", said Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, while passing the legislation.
In practice, the decision most likely means the city would lose privileged status in doing business with the United States, which would actually fit better with Beijing's plans for reintegrating Hong Kong into its constitutional order.
The State Department on Wednesday notified Congress last week's action by mainland China suppressing dissent in Hong Kong has undermined the former British colony's autonomy, disqualifying its USA special trade status.
"I will continue to do everything I can to stand with Hong Kong's fearless champions of political freedom".More news: Trump targets China over Hong Kong security law
Under the USA law, officials responsible for human rights violations and abuses in Hong Kong could be subject to sanctions.
"It looks like, with this national security law, they're going to basically take over Hong Kong and if they do ..."
People familiar with the matter told Reuters the Trump administration was considering suspending Hong Kong's preferential tariff rates for exports to the United States as part of its response to China's plan.
President Trump should immediately sanction officials in Beijing and Hong Kong who have abused human rights, and should work with allies and like-minded governments to do the same, said Human Rights First today following the State Department's announcement that Hong Kong no longer has sufficient autonomy from mainland China. "One reason that they came to Hong Kong is because there was the rule of law there, there was a free-enterprise system, there was a capitalist system, there was democracy and local legislative elections". It will then be implemented upon promulgation by the Hong Kong government, bypassing the city's legislature via a rarely-enacted constitutional backdoor.
David Stilwell, the top United States diplomat in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said officials were looking at options "across the spectrum", including visa or economic sanctions.More news: Children's Wisconsin identifies suspected cases of rare inflammatory condition
In a statement on Facebook, police warned "thugs not to try and challenge the rule of law in Hong Kong".
"Beijing's disastrous decision is only the latest in a series of actions that fundamentally undermine Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms and China's own promises to the Hong Kong people", Pompeo said. That is expected to be passed into law next month.
The US Chamber of Commerce business lobby urged Beijing to de-escalate the situation, saying it would be "a serious mistake" to jeopardise Hong Kong's special status. Beijing will take any necessary countermeasures against foreign interference, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said Wednesday in response to Trump's comments.
Critics say the security law is a direct attempt to curtail the freedoms given Hong Kong in the mini-constitution that was agreed when sovereignty was handed back to China in 1997.
Preemptive arrests of democracy activists, stop-and-search inspections of passersby and the heavy security presence helped authorities mostly stave off planned large-scale protests Wednesday, yet public fury continued to build over the national anthem bill and far-reaching national security laws that Beijing is imposing on the former British colony. The special status gives it favourable trading terms.More news: NASA Set Launch Date for First Operational SpaceX Crew Dragon Mission