US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has condemned China's plan to impose a new security law in Hong Kong, calling it a "death knell" for the city's freedoms.
China is seeking to pass a law that would ban "treason, secession, sedition and subversion" in Hong Kong.
Critics say the law would strip Hong Kong of the rights it currently enjoys, that are not seen in mainland China.
Mr Pompeo said the decision to bypass Hong Kong's lawmakers ignores "the will of the people".
"The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal, abide by its international obligations, and respect Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and civil liberties," Mr Pompeo said in a statement on Friday.
Mr Pompeo's intervention is likely to infuriate the Chinese government, whose relations with the US have been strained recently by disputes over trade and the coronavirus pandemic.
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