US lawmakers supports Hong Kong protesters | Eurasia Diary - ednews.net

11 December, Wednesday


US lawmakers supports Hong Kong protesters

In a nod to pro-democracy protesters, US Congress has passed two bills supporting human rights in Hong Kong. China has threatened unspecified countermeasures if the bills become law.

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US lawmakers on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed two bills designed to support human rights in Hong Kong, sending a warning to China over eroding freedoms in the semi-autonomous territory that could strain US-China trade talks, Eurasia Diary reports citing Deutsche Welle.

The House of Representatives passed The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act by 417 to 1, a day after the Senate unanimously adopted the measure that backs protesters in the territory that has seen nearly six months of pro-democracy demonstrations. 

The legislation, which drew anger from Beijing when it cleared the Senate, requires the US State Department to annually review whether the semi-autonomous Chinese territory retains enough freedoms to qualify for special trade status that helps support the city's status as a financial center.

It also threatens sanctions against officials responsible for human rights abuses in Hong Kong.

The measure now heads to President Donald Trump for a signature. The White House has not said whether the president will approve the bill, but it enjoys a veto-proof majority in Congress that will likely factor into Trump's calculation.

The House also unanimously passed a bill, which was also unanimously backed by the Senate on Tuesday, that would ban the sale of crowd control devices such as tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and stun guns.

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