US House of Representatives Passes Hong Kong Sanctions

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On Wednesday, the US House of Representatives joined the Senate in approving a bill that rebukes China for violating Hong Kong’s autonomy. The bill imposes US sanctions on groups that violate the city’s freedoms and autonomy such as Chinese Communist Party officials for imposing the “national security” law on Hong Kong. It also targets police units that have cracked down on pro-Democracy protesters and banks that do business with associated entities.

The House bill contains sanctions very similar to those approved by the Senate. Senator Chris Van Hollen, a co-sponsor of the Senate bill, said that senators will vote Thursday for final legislative approval. After that, the bill goes to President Trump for his signature.

Democratic Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, praised the bill calling it “an urgently needed response to the cowardly Chinese government’s passage of its so-called ‘national security’ law, which threatens the end of the ‘one country, two systems’ promised exactly 23 years ago today.” Pelosi slammed the “national security” law saying, “All freedom-loving people must condemn this horrific law.”

In response, China has threatened to impose visa restrictions on certain Americans accused of interfering in Hong Kong. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned the threat as a sign of “how Beijing refuses to take responsibility for its own choices” and that the “national security” law “destroys the territory’s autonomy and one of China’s greatest achievements.” Pompeo went on to say, “[Beijing’s] paranoia and fear of its own people’s aspirations have led it to eviscerate the very foundation of the territory’s success.”