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US senate passes bill to support Hong Kong protesters

International Desk |
Update: 2019-11-21 1:23:46 PM
US senate passes bill to support Hong Kong protesters

The House and Senate both passed the bill with a veto-proof majority. It compels the U.S. to penalize Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for abuses.

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill that compels the government to support Hong Kong pro-democracy activists by requiring it to impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials responsible for human rights abuses in the territory.

The bill, if enacted into law by President Trump, would also require the State Department to annually review the special autonomous status it grants Hong Kong in trade considerations. That status is separate from the relationship with mainland China, and a revocation of the status would mean less favorable trade conditions between the United States and Hong Kong.

The Senate passed the bill, called the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, by unanimous consent, as did the House last month with its version. Because the bill, in theory, has the support of a veto-proof majority in Congress, it could be enacted into law even if Mr. Trump vetoed it. The chambers are expected to come up with a unified bill to send the president.

Mr. Trump, who rarely talks about human rights, has not spoken about the bill, nor has he made consistently strong statements in support of the Hong Kong activists. He told the Chinese president in June that he would not publicly back the protesters as long as trade talks were progressing.

Source: The New York Times

BDST: 1323 HRS, NOV 21, 2019


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