Yesterday the House of Representatives voted 417-1 to pass a pro-Hong Kong rights bill with the goal of protecting human rights in Hong Kong.
The bill states,”The Department of State shall certify annually to Congress as to whether Hong Kong warrants its unique treatment under various treaties, agreements, and U.S. law. The analysis shall evaluate whether Hong Kong is upholding the rule of law and protecting rights enumerated in various documents, including (1) the agreement between the United Kingdom and China regarding Hong Kong’s return to China, and (2) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.
If Hong Kong wants to continue to be treated as a global financial hub it will have to be in compliance with the bill going forward.
In response to the passing of the bill in the House and the Senate the Chinese Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said, “Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs. No foreign government, organization or individual has the right to interfere. The US recent remarks on Hong Kong, though dressed up as impartial observations, are in fact a manifestation of their hidden agenda and double standards on violent crimes. It is in itself a travesty of rule of law and human rights to mention the law enforcement to end violence by the police in the same breath as the extreme violent crimes of the radicals”.
Both Republicans and Democrats alike made statements in their support of the bill:
- Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, “The Congress is sending an unmistakable message to the world that the United States stands in solidarity with freedom-loving people of Hong Kong and that we fully support their fight for freedom”.
- Republican Senator Marco Rubio of Florida said, “After the Senate unanimously passed our Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, I applaud Speaker Pelosi for taking swift action to send this bill directly to President Trump’s desk for signature”.
- Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said,” Congress showed the U.S. stands with the democratic protesters in Hong Kong and the suppression of freedom will not stand”.
- Republican Representative Chris Smith said”With passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, the United States Congress is making it clear that beating, torturing and jailing democracy activists is wrong”.
President Trump is expected to sign the bill within the next week.