"This is a big deal and the secretary is to be complimented for doing what he's done," Huntsman told "The Story."
"There was the joint declaration [in 1997] where Hong Kong ... would maintain its status quo," Huntsman explained. "Its freedom ... civil society ... rule of law, it's [a] center for finance ... and increasingly that isn’t happening."
"What you saw Secretary Pompeo do," Huntsman continued, "is recognition of what has happened step-by-step, piece by piece, and here we wake up to the Chinese -- with a very heavy hand -- beginning to exert more and more control through national security laws."
In a statement released Wednesday, Pompeo said that “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."
His statement came after Chinese government officials, citing national security, announced that the National People’s Congress (NPC) will review legislation that would criminalize anti-government movements, like the recent years-long pro-democracy protests.
It's the latest in a series of incursions by Beijing onto the liberties enjoyed in Hong Kong as part of the so-called "One Country, Two Systems" philosophy.
"What China basically counted on was the economic largess of Hong Kong, and benefit, with limited impact on the democracy side," Huntsman explained. "What has happened is you've had a lot more impact on the democracy and civil society sides then you have from the economic side."
Hunstman said the United States has only "one course of action they can take" moving forward.
"We basically support fellow democracies out there and make sure that they are prosperous and practice democracy here at home," he explained, "so that we can be a shining star example of what is great in the world."
Fox News' Adam Shaw contributed to this report.