Tuesday, August 16, 2022

U.S. Senate passes bill over China’s Hong Kong law

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The U.S. Senate unanimously approved legislation on Thursday to penalize banks doing business with Chinese officials who implement Beijing’s draconian new national security law on Hong Kong, sending it to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature. Libby Hogan reports.

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a sanctions bill to punish China over Hong Kong on Thursday (July 2)

It would penalise banks that do business with officials who implement Beijing’s harsh new national security law for Hong Kong.

That law punishes crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces with up to life in prison.

The U.S. bill has been sent to the White House for President Donald Trump’s approval.

The House also passed the bill without oppositin the day before — a rare example of bipartisan support reflecting concern over erosion of Hong Kong’s freedoms.

Lawmakers said it raced through Congress this week to because of China’s recent actions and to show support for Hong Kong protesters.

On Twitter, Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen, lead sponsor of the U.S.bill called on Trump to quote: “Stand up to China for their assault on #HongKong’s democratic rights.”

The Hong Kong government has repeatedly said the security law won’t affect freedom of speech and other rights in the city.

On Wednesday, thousands gathered in the city on Wednesday protesting the new law.

Around 370 people were arrested – 10 of them involving violations of the new national security law.

Meanwhile, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman warned the United States against signing or implementing the bill, stating quote: “otherwise China will resolutely and forcefully resist.”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment on whether Trump would sign the bill.

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