Since [Xi Jinping’s] ascent, we’ve seen more statements about the need to prevent diffusion of political threats from abroad into China. Hong Kong has always been one site where the Chinese Communist Party is particularly sensitive or prone to seeing foreign infiltration aimed at destabilising the party.
There’s a lot of parallels between what China has domestically and what they’re imposing on Hong Kong, they’re like clouds that hang over society. They can decide when the sun is allowed to come through, and they can decide when to block it.
If Hong Kong loses preferential trade treatment, U.S. tariffs and export controls on China would apply to Hong Kong. This action-reaction sequence of China tightening its hold on Hong Kong and America responding by withdrawing preferential treatment would weaken Hong Kong's status as a global financial hub.