US Congressional committees in the House and Senate approved the Hong Kong Human Rights & Democracy Act supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, warning the Communist Government of China that any military crackdown could result in serious consequences.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday (Sept 25) advanced legislation that would require annual assessments of whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous from Beijing to justify its unique treatment under US law.
This bill amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 to direct the Department of State to report to Congress (within 90 days and annually thereafter through 2023) on conditions in Hong Kong that are of U.S. interest.
Such report shall include matters in which Hong Kong is given separate treatment under U.S. laws from that accorded to China.
With legilation of the Hong Kong bill, the State Department shall allow otherwise qualified Hong Kong residents to obtain visas to work or study in the United States, even if the applicant had been arrested for participating in certain nonviolent protests supporting human rights or the rule of law.
The U.S. President shall report to Congress a list of individuals responsible for abducting and torturing people for exercising internationally recognized human rights in Hong Kong. The bill bars such individuals from entering the United States and imposes sanctions on them.
The President shall freeze the U.S.-based assets of identified individuals.
Chief Executive Carrie Lam, police commissioner Stephen Lo and other major Hong Kong government officials will definitely be on the list of sanctions.
By Cloudy Seagail
The Senate hearing can be traced here: