“This has been going on for a year now,” Ortagus told host Bill Hemmer.
“We saw the extradition law put in place in Hong Kong,” she added. “We saw thousands of protestors, for the past year, take to the streets. Those protests were sometimes violently put down. People were arbitrarily detained. We’ve seen the erosion of rule of law in Hong Kong.”
Shortly after China’s legislature endorsed a national security law for Hong Kong on Thursday, the United States, and governments of Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom issued a joint statement arguing the legislation would “curtail the Hong Kong people’s liberties.”
Last week, Hong Kong saw its first large-scale protests in months after the Beijing government announced plans to consider a bill criminalizing anti-government movements, such as pro-democracy demonstrations that have rocked the city for most of last year.
“Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of freedom. The international community has a significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” the joint statement released by the State Department Thursday said. “The proposed law would undermine the One Country, Two Systems framework. It also raises the prospect of prosecution in Hong Kong for political crimes, and undermines existing commitments to protect the rights of Hong Kong people.”
Ortagus said that the culmination of the suppression of Hong Kong came last week when the Chinese Communist Party said that they will be “taking up the supposed national security legislation.”
“This is just a complete rejection of the basic law that China agreed not only to [apply in] Hong Kong in 1997, but I would remind everyone that this was a U.N. agreement that the Chinese Communist Party agreed to as well,” she added. “They’re breaking their word 27 years early.”
Last week, thousands took to the streets, and dozens of protesters flooded a shopping mall chanting slogans alleging Chinese interference in their government. More than 360 people were arrested, Reuters reported.
Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.
Joshua Nelson is a freelance reporter for Fox News.