The United States Secretary of State has informed Congress that Hong Kong is no longer seen as a part of China with much autonomy.
This could have significant consequences for the special trading status enjoyed by the Asian metropolis, US media reports.
The US treats Hong Kong, until 1997 British colony, economically different from the rest of China.
That has promised that the metropolis will at least have special status until 2047, known as “one country, two systems”.
Critics say that the communist rulers in Beijing are taking steps to undermine that promised autonomy.
The United States Department also appears to feel the same way. This should periodically determine whether Hong Kong is still autonomous enough to be entitled to special treatment.
“No reasonable person can now claim that Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy within China,” said Minister Pompeo in a statement.