US Senate passes bill in support of Hong Kong protesters

US Senate passes bill in support of Hong Kong protesters

Agency News

Hong Kong, Nov 20 : US Senate has passed a bill that would allow the Congress to take diplomatic action and economic sanctions against Hong Kong, which is protesting against mainland China's undemocratic rule in the autonomous region.

"The United States Senate sent a clear message to Hong Kongers fighting for their long-cherished freedoms: we hear you, we continue to stand with you, and we will not stand idly by as Beijing undermines your autonomy," Florida Republican Marco Rubio announced. "The passage of this bill is an important step in holding accountable those Chinese and Hong Kong government officials responsible for Hong Kong’s eroding autonomy and human rights violations. #HongKong we hear. We stand with you," her tweet read.

"Both the United States Senate and House of Representatives have now demonstrated bipartisan solidarity with the people of Hong Kong as they stand up for their freedoms and basic human rights," Rubio added. The Senate also passed the Protect Hong Kong Act, sponsored by Oregon Democrat Jeff Merkley, which would prohibit US companies from exporting non-lethal crowd control and defence items to the city. The House of Representatives passed that chamber’s versions of the two bills last month.

The number of senators co-sponsoring the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act surged on Monday, bringing in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and showing the biggest jump since the bill was introduced in June, following a stream of reports about a violent standoff playing out since Sunday between police and radical students at Polytechnic University in Hong Kong.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress, the top legislature of China, on Wednesday firmly opposed to and strongly condemned the passing of the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 by the US Senate.

"This act neglects facts and truth, applies double standards and blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs," foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement. "It is in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. China condemns and firmly opposes it."
The United States must immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs, or "the negative consequences will boomerang on itself", Geng added. UNI