UPDATED 12:17 PM PT — Thursday, November 21, 2019
Two bipartisan bills supporting Hong Kong protesters are headed to President Trump’s desk. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi signed the bills Thursday, sending a warning to China in regards to human rights. The bills passed with overwhelming support in the House and Senate this week. This come as pro-democracy demonstrations become increasingly violent in Hong Kong.
Passed in the Senate today by Unanimous Consent:
1. S.1838 – Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act with Rubio substitute amendment.
2. S.2710 – A bill to prohibit the commercial export of covered munitions items to the Hong Kong Police Force with Merkley amendments.
— Senate Cloakroom (@SenateCloakroom) November 19, 2019
One of the bills empowers the Trump administration to impose sanctions on Hong Kong or China for violating human rights. The other bill bans the export of tear gas, rubber bullets, and other crowd control items.
Republican senators are voicing strong support for the bills, while mainland China has condemned the move and has threatened to retaliate. According to a statement by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Beijing “will take strong opposing measures” and the U.S. will “bear all the consequences.”
“Our treatment of Hong Kong is an internal matter, it’s a matter of our own public policy. We treat commerce and trade with Hong Kong, anything that comes out of there, differently than we do the mainland. That’s our law. We have a right to change our laws. So, their comments are interference with our internal affairs, which is something they’re always complaining about.”
— Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.)
President Trump has voiced support for the Hong Kong protesters and is expected to sign the legislation.
The people of #HongKong deserve a future that sees their rights respected. It is critical that the President quickly enact this legislation in the face of Beijing's crackdown. Many thanks to @RepMcGovern & @RepChrisSmith for leading the bipartisan effort to pass this legislation. pic.twitter.com/9Fw9ymCKV4
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) November 21, 2019