The progress: US Senate passes the Hong Kong Bill

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US Senate Chamber
Washington D.C.
20/11/2019 East Time

Senator Marsha Blackburn

THANK YOU, MR. PRESIDENT. IT REALLY HAS BEEN QUITE A YEAR HERE IN WASHINGTON FOR DRAWING OUT POLICY BATTLES. IT’S NOVEMBER. WE’RE STILL FIGHTING OVER DEFENSE SPENDING TRADE, THE RESULTS OF THE ELECTION THAT LONG AGO WAS DECIDED IN 2016. BUT A QUICK FLIP THROUGH THIS MORNING’S WORLD NEWS SECTIONS SERVED AS MY DAILY REMINDER THAT AMERICANS REALLY DO HAVE SO INCREDIBLY MUCH FOR WHICH TO BE THANKFUL. YOU MIGHT EVEN FEEL INCLINED TO SAY THAT WE ARE REALLY LUCKY TO LIVE HERE IN THE UNITED STATES. BUT I WILL TELL YOU LUCK REALLY DOESN’T HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH IT. OUR FREEDOM WAS BOUGHT WITH THE BLOOD OF THOUSANDS, THOUSANDS WHO INSTIGATED A REVOLUTION IN SPITE OF BEING OUTSPENT, OUTMANNED, OUT GUNNED BY THE GLOBAL — OUTGUNNED BY THE GLOBAL SUPERPOWER OF THEIR TIME. THANK GOODNESS THEY HAD THAT FIGHTING SPIRIT, THE SAME ABSOLUTE BELIEF IN THE RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION WENT ON TO FUEL THE ABOLITIONISTS, THE WOMEN SUFFRAGISTS, THE CIVIL RIGHTS WARRIORS, AND TODAY THEIR FEARLESSNESS INSPIRES FREEDOM MOVEMENTS THAT WE ARE SEEING ALL ACROSS THE GLOBE. JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO HEADS TURNED TOWARD CHINA AS THOUSANDS OF HONG KONG PEOPLE POURED INTO THE STREETS AND SAID NO TO BEIJING’S STRANGLEHOLD. BUT JUST SAYING NO WASN’T ENOUGH. NOW THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS AND UNIVERSITIES HAVE MORPHED INTO WAR ZONES AND CHINESE AUTHORITIES HAVE LONG SINCE JUSTIFIED SHOOT BE LIVE RAMS OF AMMUNITION INTO THE CROWDS. IMAGINE THE INTENSITY OF THAT FEAR THAT IT TAKES TO PUSH A GOVERNMENT TO FIRE OLE THEIR OWN PEOPLE WHEN THE ENTIRE WORLD IS WATCHING. BEIJING IS WORRIED BUT BEIJING WILL ALSO NOT HESITATE TO USE ANY FORCE IT DEEMS NECESSARY TO TIGHTEN THEIR GRIP ON HONG KONG. NOW HERE IN THE SENATE WE’RE WORKING ON A FEW PIECES OF LEGISLATION TO LET THE CHINESE AND THE HONG KONG GOVERNMENT KNOW THAT THE UNITED STATES IS WATCHING. WE’VE INCLUDED A BILL THAT WILL PREVENT U.S. COMPANIES FROM EXPORTING CROWD CONTROL SUPPLIES TO THE HONG KONG POLICE FORCE. BUT IT’S IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE MOTIVATING FACTORS BEHIND POLITICAL OPPRESSION HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH TEAR GAS OR WITH STUN GUNS. THAT’S ONLY SO MUCH THAT LEGISLATION CAN DO. GOVERNMENTS IN IRAQ, VIETNAM, ALGERIA, LEBANON ARE ALSO HARD AT WORK DOING WHATEVER THEY CAN TO PREVENT THEIR CITIZENS FROM STEPPING OUT OF LINE BECAUSE THEY KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THEIR CITIZENS ARE FREE TO CRITICIZE THE STATE AND THEY ARE TERRIFIED AT LOSING POWER. THIS MONTH THE ENTIRE WORLD LOOKED TOWARDS CENTRAL EUROPE TO COMMEMORATE THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL. WHEN EAST BERLINERS FIRST STEPPED INTO THE WESTERN HALF OF THAT CITY, THEY REVEALED TO THE REST OF THE WORLD THE HORRORS OF LIVING UNDER A POLITICAL REGIME THAT SUSTAINS ITSELF BY CONSUMING THE AUTONOMY OF THEIR SUBJECTS. HISTORY SERVES AS AN ENDURING WARNING AGAINST THE DANGERS OF THE ALL POWERFUL STATE. BUT AS WE WATCHED MASS PROTESTS PLAY OUT HALF A WORLD AWAY, MANY AMERICANS STILL SEE SOCIAL CHAOS NOT AS A STOP OF A DISEASE BUT AS A SPONTANEOUS EXPRESSION OF SOME NEBULOUS DESIRE TO BE FREE. THEY DON’T STOP TO RECALL WHAT SPARKED THE FIRST FEELINGS OF UNEASE LONG BEFORE THE MOLOTOV COCKTAILS STARTING FLYING THROUGH THE AIR. THIS IS WHY HERE IN THE U.S. MY COLLEAGUES IN THE MAJORITY HAVE FORCED MANY CONVERSATIONS ON THE PERILS OF DEGRADING THE FOUNDATIONS OF OUR REPUBLIC. WE HAVE DEBATED AD NAUSEAM THE CONSTITUTION’S PLACE IN CIVIL AND LEGAL DISCOURSE ASKING DOES IT PROVIDE A WORKABLE STANDARD OR IS IT JUST AN OUTDATED PIECE OF PAPER NOW RENDERED ILLEGITIMATE BY THE MALE WHITENESS OF ITS DRAFTERS. MR. PRESIDENT, I THINK YOU KNOW MY RESPONSE. WE DEFEND THE CONSTITUTION AND THE SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT IT CREATED BECAUSE WE KNOW FROM STUDYING HISTORY AND FROM OBSERVING CURRENT EVENTS THAT FREEDOM DOES NOT SUDDENLY EXPIRE. FREEDOM BEGINS TO WITTER THE — WITHER THE MOMENT THOSE IN POWER CONVINCE THEMSELVES THAT A REPRIEVE FROM UNCOMFORTABLE POLICY DEBATES OVER SPEECH, SELF-DEFENSE, OR THE SIZE OF GOVERNMENT WILL BE WORTH THE RISK OF SHELVING THE STANDARDS THAT PROTECT INDIVIDUAL LIBERTY. THE CURRENT BLASE TOLERANCE AND IN SOME CASES INCOMPREHENSIBLE ENTHUSIASM FOR SOCIALISM AND OTHER AUTHORITARIAN PHILOSOPHIES IS SENDING A STRONG MESSAGE TO THE REST OF THE WORLD THAT THE STANDARD FOR GLOBAL FREEDOM IS UP FOR DEBATE. IF WE ACQUIESCE TO THE ARGUMENT THAT AMERICA’S FOUNDING PRINCIPLES HAVE PASSED THEIR EXPIRATION DATE, WE WILL HAVE FAILED AS A PEOPLE AND AS A WORLD LEADER. THAT FAILURE WILL CHANGE THE COURSE OF OUR HISTORY AND WILL BE USED AS A WEAPON TO QUASH DISSENT ELSEWHERE IN THE WORLD. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MR. PRESIDENT? MR. PRESIDENT?

Senator Marco Rubio:

MR. PRESIDENT, IN A MOMENT HERE, MY — AS MY COLLEAGUES GATHER, WE HOPE TO BE ABLE TO PASS THE HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY ACT. I WANT TO FIRST ACKNOWLEDGE ALL THE PEOPLE WHO WORKED SO HARD ON IT, OUR STAFFS OBVIOUSLY AND IN ADDITION, SENATORS CARDIN, RISCH, MENENDEZ AND OVER 50 COSPONSORS WHO WILL JOIN US THIS EVENING. I ALSO WANT TO THANK LEADER McCONNELL AND SENATOR SCHUMER FOR HELPING US GET HERE AND THANK CHAIRMAN CRAPO WHO HAS HELPED US MAKE SOME IMPORTANT CHANGES AT THE END THAT WILL MAKE THE SANCTIONS EASIER TO IMPLEMENT. A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE BEEN WATCHING ON THE NEWS THE PROTESTS THAT ARE GOING ON IN HONG KONG AND WONDERING PERHAPS THE DEPEND LTS OF WOULD IT’S — DEPTHS OF WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT. WHEN THE UNITED KINGDOM HANDED HONG KONG TO, THEY SIGNED AN AGREEMENT KNOWN AS THE JOINT DECLARATION AND GUARANTEED A HIGH DEGREE OF AUTONOMY AND FREEDOM TO THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG. AS A RESULT OF THAT AGREEMENT, THE UNITED STATES HAS TREATED COMMERCE AND TRADE WITH HONG KONG DIFFERENTLY THAN IT HAS COMMERCIAL AND TRADE ACTIVITY WITH THE MAINLAND OF CHINA. BUT WHAT’S HAPPENED OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS IS THE STEADY EFFORT ON THE PART OF CHINESE AUTHORITIES TO ERODE THAT AUTONOMY AND THOSE FREEDOMS. THE MOST RECENT PROTESTS REALLY BEGAN WITH A PROPOSAL TO PASS AN EXTRADITION LAW THAT WOULD ALLOW THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT TO BASICALLY ARREST AND EBBS EXTRA DIET — HAVE ARRESTED A EXTRADITE SOMEONE IN HONG KONG OVER TO THE MAINLAND. AND THERE WAS A HUGE PUSH BACK AGAINST THAT. AND THOSE PROTESTS EMERGED AS A RESULT OF IT. EVEN AFTER THE HONG KONG GOVERNMENT PULLED OUT FROM PURSUING THAT AGREEMENT OR PURSUING THAT LAW, THE PROTESTS HAVE CONTINUED BECAUSE THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG SEE WHAT’S COMING. THEY SEE THE STEADY EFFORT TO ERODE THE ALL TON MY — AUTONOMY AND THEIR FREEDOMS. AND THE RESPONSE BY THE HONG KONG AUTHORITIES UNDER TREMENDOUS PRESSURE FROM BEIJING IS VIOLENCE AND OPPRESSION. SO FAR OVER 5,000 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN ARRESTED IN HONG KONG. THE YOUNGEST WAS 12 YEARS OF AGE. THE OLDEST 82. HUNDREDS MORE HAVE BEEN INJURED BY BOTH VIOLENCE COMMITTED BY POLICE AUTHORITIES BUT ALSO BY STREET GANGS, CRIMINALS, THUGS EMPOWERED AND ENCOURAGED BY CHINESE AUTHORITIES. AND THIS EFFORT BY CHINA TO EXERT CONTROL AND REMOVE AUTONOMY CONTINUES UNABATED. JUST SOME EXAMPLES, THERE WAS A LAW THAT WAS PASSED THAT BANNED WEARING MASKS AND A HONG KONG COURT RULED THAT THAT BAN WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL. WELL TODAY THE SO-CALLED NATIONAL PEOPLES CONGRESS IN BEIJING RULED THAT HONG KONG COURTS HAVE NO AUTHORITY, NO POWER TOREVIEW HONG KONG LEGISLATION. UNDER PRESSURE FROM BEIJING, HONG KONG’S GOVERNMENT THREATENED TO CAN — CANCEL NOVEMBER 24 ELECTIONS, ELECTIONS THAT CHINA HAS BEEN INTERFERING IN. THEY PUSHED THE BAN CRITICS LIKE JOSHUA WONG, SEVEN CANDIDATES WHO ARE RUNNING HAVE BEEN ATTACKED BY STREET GANGS DURING THE CAMPAIGN. TWO CANDIDATES HAVE BEEN ARRESTED WHILE CAMPAIGNING. NOW IN THE LATEST MOVE, CHINA IS PUSHING THE HONG KONG GOVERNMENT TO PASS WHAT THEY CALL A NEW NATIONAL SECURITY LAW, A LAW THAT WOULD ALLOW THEM TO ARREST POLITICAL CRITICS AND OPPONENTS, AND THIS — IF THIS PASSES, IF THAT HAPPENS, THAT’S THE VERY DEFINITION OF CONTROL AND DE FACTO PROVES ALL LOSS OF AUTONOMY. BY THE WAY, CHINA IS ALSO PUSHING FOR SOMETHING CALLED PATRIOTIC EDUCATION. WHAT CHINA IS REALLY PUSHING FOR IN HONG KONG IS MOVING FROM ONE COUNTRY TWO SYSTEMS TO ONE COUNTRY, ONE SYSTEM — THE CHINESE SYSTEM. AND SO THE BILL THAT WE’LL BRING UP HERE IN A MOMENT WITH TREMENDOUS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT REQUIRES FIVE QUICK THINGS THAT I’LL TOUCH ON. FIRST, IT’S MOST IMPORTANT ELEMENT IS THAT IT REQUIRES THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO ANNUALLY CERTIFY WHETHER HONG KONG WARRANTS BEING TREATED DIFFERENTLY THAN CHINA. IT SAYS THAT STUDENTS IN HONG KONG SHOULDN’T BE BARRED FROM ENTERING THE UNITED STATES AND GET A VISA TO STUDY HERE BECAU THEY’VE — IT SAYS FOR THE NEXT SEVEN YEARS THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE IS GOING TO REPORT ON WHETHER EXPORT CONTROLS AND SANCTION LAWS ARE BEING ENFORCED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF HONG KONG OR WHETHER CHINA IS USING HONG KONG TO EVADE AS A BACKDOOR TO EVADE EXPORT CONTROLS AND SANCTIONS F SAYS THAT IF HONG KONG ULTIMATELY RETURNS AND PASSES THAT EXTRADITION BILL THAT CHINA WANTS, THE PRESIDENT HAS TO PRESENT A PLAN TO PROTECT AMERICANS FROM THIS LAW. AND LAST BUT NOT LEAKERS IT ASKS — IT REQUESTS THAT THE PRESIDENT — IT MANDATES THAT THE PRESIDENT IDENTIFY AND SANCTION FOREIGNERS, THE PRESIDENT DETERMINES BASED ON CREDIBLE INFORMATION FOREIGNERS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ARBITRARY DETENTION, FOR TORTURE, FORCED CONFESSIONS INSIDE OF HONG KONG OR ANY OTHER HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN HONG KONG. AND BY THE WAY, WOULD ALSO ALLOW BLOCKING THE ASSETS OF THESE PERSONS IF THOSE ASSETS ARE LOCATED IN THE UNITED STATES. AND SO IN A MOMENT HERE AS WE CONTINUE TO GATHER — WE’RE AWAITING THE ARRIVAL OF COMPANION LEGISLATION — I WOULD YIELD THE FLOOR BECAUSE I KNOW WE HAVE A LOT OF IMPORTANT SPONSORS THAT ARE HERE THAT WANT TO SPEAK ON THIS SUBJECT. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT?

Senator Jim Risch

THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP WE’RE TAKING HERE. THIS IS A MATTER THAT WE’VE BEEN DISCUSSING FOR A LONG TIME. THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF ACTION ON THIS. I WANT TO THANK SENATOR RUBIO AND SENATOR CARDIN, WHO ARE THE LEAD SPONSORS OF THIS BILL AND WHO HAVE ON BEHALF OF THE COMMITTEE DONE YEOMAN’S WORK GETTING IT TOGETHER AND GETTING THE BIPARTISAN COMPROMISE TO GET THE LANGUAGE HERE. ALSO ON VIRTUALLY ALL MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE HAVE HAD FINGERPRINTS ON THIS BILL, AND SO IN THAT REGARD, I THINK IT’S GOING TO PASS QUITE HANDILY. I WANT TO THANK THE BANKING STAFF, PARTICULARLY MY COLLEAGUE FROM IDAHO, SENATOR CRAPO, WHO OF COURSE HAS THE EXPERTISE IN THE BANKING COMMITTEE AND HAS THE EXPERTISE ON THESE KINDS OF THINGS, ON SANCTIONS. THEY WERE VERY HELPFUL IN HAMMERING OUT THE LANGUAGE THAT WE NEEDED FOR THE SANCTION. I WANT TO THANK THE BANKING COMMITTEE STAFF THAT WAS HELPFUL. I WANT TO THANK THE STAFF OF THE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE WHO WORKED FOR US, BOTH THE MINORITY STAFF, SENATOR MENENDEZ’S STAFF, AND MESA, THE MAJORITY STAFF, FOR DOING THIS. AND ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORKED ON THIS. SO THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU. LOOK, SINCE JUNE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN HONG KONG HAVE TAKEN TO THE STREETS PROTESTING THE EROSION OF THEIR RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS. HONG KONG WAS SUPPOSED TO MAINTAIN A HIGH DEGREE OF AUTONOMY AFTER CHINA REGAINED SOVEREIGNTY OVER THE TERRITORY IN 1997. THIS WASN’T JUST A VERBAL UNDERSTANDING. THIS IS — WAS IN THE TREATY THAT CHINA SIGNED WITH GREAT BRITAIN. HOWEVER, SINCE THAT TIME, CHINA HAS GRADUALLY CHIPPED AWAY AT HONG KONG’S AUTONOMY AND THIS IS NOW BECOMING A REAL PROBLEM. CHINA REFERS TO ITS TREATY WITH GREAT BRITAIN AS, QUOTE, AN HISTORIC DOCUMENT AND SAYS IT IS NO LONGER BOUND BY ITS TERMS. THIS IS JUST ONE OF MANY EXAMPLES TO SHOW THAT THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT HAS NO RESPECT FOR THE RULE OF LAW. AFTER TWO BEING DIDS OF BROKEN COMMITMENTS, IT IS PAST TIME THAT WE HOLD THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY ACCOUNTABLE. WHAT IT IS DOING IN HONG KONG IS JUST WRONG. THAT IS WHY I’M PROUD TO JOIN SENATOR RUBIO AND SENATOR CARDIN AND ALL THE OTHERS WHO HAVE HAD HANDS ON THIS BILL IN BRINGING THE HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY ACT TO THE SENATE FLOOR. THIS BILL IS THE RESULT OF A STRONG, STRONG, BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS THAT WE MUST ACT AND SUPPORT — IN SUPPORT OF THE HONG KONG PEOPLE. THANK YOU ALL FOR HELPING. WE’LL GET TO THE UNANIMOUS CONSENT IN A LITTLE BIT. I WOULD LIKE TO YIELD TO SENATOR CARDIN.

Senator Ben Cardin

LET ME FIRST THANK SENATOR RUBIO FOR HIS LEADERSHIP THIS ISSUE AND SENATOR MENENDEZ AND SENATOR RISCH FOR THEIR LURE IN OUR COMMITTEE AND SO MANY OTHERS WHO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED BECAUSE TONIGHT WE HAVE A CHANCE TO REAFFIRM OUR COMMITMENT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY. THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT OUR LEGISLATION DOES. IT RECOGNIZES THE FACT THAT FOR 24 CONSECUTIVE WEEKS THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR THEIR BASIC DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM. IT’S BEEN REPORTED YESTERDAY THAT POLICE FIRED 1,40’S 58 ROUNDS FRANCHISE TEAR GAS, 4491 RUBBER BULLETS, 325 ROUNDS, 265 GRENADES. THAT’S JUST YESTERDAY. ON PEACEFUL PROTESTERS WHO ARE ASKING NOTHING MORE THAN TO EXERCISE THE RIGHTS THAT THEY WERE TOLD WOULD BE PROTECTED, TO EXPRESS THEIR VIEWS AND TO BE ABLE TO HAVE DEMOCRACY IN HONG KONG, WHICH IS THE WAY IT WAS UNDER THE PREVIOUS TIME. SO SENATOR RUBIO AND I INTRODUCED LEGISLATION THAT THE CHAIRMAN AND RANKING MEMBER OF THE FOREIGN REESE RELATIONS COMMITTEE, SENATOR RISCH AND MENENDEZ JOINED US AND WE PASSED THIS BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION ON JUNE 14. IT REAFFIRMS THE PRINCIPLES SET FORTH IN THE UNITED STATES-HONG KONG POLICY ACT OF 1992 WHICH SUPPORTS DEMOCRACIIZATION, HUMAN RIGHTS IN HONG KONG. SENATOR RUBIO ALREADY TALKED ABOUT THIS, BUT THIS IS A REALLY IMPORTANT THING. WE GAVE HONG KONG A SPECIAL STATUS IN ITS RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES THAT CHINA DOES NOT ENJOY. AND WE GAVE THEM THAT SPECIAL STATUS UPON THEIR PROTECTING DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN HONG KONG. THAT WAS THE COMMITMENT. AND IF THEY DON’T COMPLY WITH THAT, THE SPECIAL STATUS SHOULD NO LONGER BE AVAILABLE. AND THIS LEGISLATION REQUIRES THAT WE GET INFORMATION ON A REGULAR BASIS AS TO WHETHER CHINA IS RESPECTING THE RIGHTS AS WE PUT IN OUR LEGISLATION IN 1992 THAT THEY NOTIFY US ON A REGULAR BASIS — REGULAR TIME FRAME. THAT’S AN IMPORTANT POINT BECAUSE IF THEY DON’T, WE SHOULDN’T GIVE THEM THAT PROTECTIVE STATUS. IT IDENTIFIES PERSONS WHO HAVE SUPPRESSED BASIC FREEDOMS, SIMILAR TO WHAT WE’VE DONE IN WHAT’S KNOWN AS THE MAGNITSKY SANCTIONS. SO THOSE WHO ARE TAKING AWAY THE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG WOULD BE SUBJECT TO THE SAME TYPE OF VISA RESTRICTIONS TO VISIT AMERICA AND TO USE OUR BANKING SYSTEM. THAT MAKES A GREAT DEAL OF SENSE, AND WE KNOW THAT’S PRETTY EFFECTIVE. SO IT’S TIME THAT WE BACKED UP OUR WORDS, OUR COMMITMENT TO SUPPORTING HONG KONG’S DEMOCRATIZATION, HUMAN RIGHTS AND AUTONOMY WITH ACTION. LET’S MAKE SURE THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG KNOW THAT THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THEM — SOLIDARITY WITH THEM AS THE CHINESE AUTHORITIES, AS WE SPEAK, ARE REPRESSING THE LEGITIMATE RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG. WE CAN STAND WITH THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS BY OUR ACTIONS THIS EVENING. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

Senator Bob Menendez

I RISE IN SUPPORT OF THE MOTION THAT SHORTLY WILL BE MADE BY OUR COLLEAGUE FROM FLORIDA. I WANT TO CONGRATULATE SENATOR CARDIN AND HE FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP IN THIS REGARD. I THINK APPRECIATE THE CHAIRMAN AND MYSELF, HAVING JOINED THEM IN MOVING THIS EXPEDITIOUSLY THROUGH THE COMMITTEE, AND I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO ITS CRITICAL PASSAGE ON THE FLOOR. TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE. THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG ARE FIGHTING FOR THEIR LIVES. SIX MONTHS AGO MILLIONS OF HONG KONG CITIZENS TOOK TO THE STREETS TO PEACEFULLY PROTEST THE EROSION OF THEIR DEMOCRACY AND THEIR RIGHTS. NOW A HALF A YEAR LATER WE FIND MOUNTING ANGER AND UNREST WITH THE VIOLENCE AGAINST STUDENTS AND PROTESTERS, MOST DRAMATICALLY IN THE CRACKDOWN OF HONG KONG’S POLYTECH UNIVERSITY ONLY GETTING WORSE. PEOPLE ARE BEING SHOCKED. THE VIOLENCE PERPETRATED BY THE AUTHORITIES IN HONG KONG AND BY EXTENSION BEIJING ARE TURNING THE CITY INTO A BATTLEFIELD. THIS IS NOT THE HONG KONG THAT ANY OF US WANT TO SEE. THE SPECIAL CHARACTER OF HONG KONG IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S GREAT SUCCESS STORIES. THE VIBRANCY OF THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG, ESPECIALLY ITS YOUNG PEOPLE AND THE RISING GENERATION OF LEADERS STANDING UP FOR DEMOCRACY AND SELF-GOVERNANCE, SHOULD INSPIRE ALL OF US. WE ADMIRE HONG KONG’S SUCCESS AS A BUSH JOHNING ECONOMIC — BURGEONING ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE AND WE ADMIRE THE SOCIETY AND CIVIC LIFE THAT HAS FLOURISHED UNDER THE ONE-COUNTRY, TWO SYSTEMS PRINCIPLE. HONG KONG IS ONE OF THE REMARKABLE SUCCESS STORIES OF THE INDO-PACIFIC, ONE OF THE MOST REMARKABLE SUCCESS STORIES OF THE CHINA AND CHINESE PEOPLE, AND IT IS A SUCCESS WORTH PROTECTING. SO I CALL ON THE POLICE TO ACT PROFESSIONALLY AND TO TREAT ITS FELLOW CITIZENS WITH RESPECT AND RESTRAINT. WE CALL FOR BEIJING AND THE HONG KONG AUTHORITIES TO ADDRESS THE LEGITIMATE ASPIRATIONS OF THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG AND IN THESE TURBULENT TIMES THE CONGRESS OF THE UNITED STATES MUST LEAD WITH OUR VALUES. WE MUST STAND ON THE SIDE OF FREEDOM AND HUMAN DIGNITY, AND WE MUST SEND A CLEAR AND UNCOMPROMISING STATEMENT THAT AMERICA STANDS WITH THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG IN THEIR QUEST TO MAINTAIN THEIR SELF-GOVERNANCE AND AUTONOMY, TO SAFEGUARD THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS, TO EXERCISE THEIR DEMOCRATIC FREEDOM, TO DETERMINE THEIR OWN FUTURE. THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES HAS ALREADY PASSED THEIR VERSION OF THIS BILL AND THE SITUATION IN HONG KONG GROWS MORE TENUOUS BY THE DAY. THAT’S WHY THE UNITED STATES SHOULD AND MUST ACT TODAY. I LOOK FORWARD TO ITS PASSAGE, WITHOUT DELAY. LET US WORK TO HOLD KLEIN ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE EROSION OF DEMOCRACY IN HONG KONG. LET US TOGETHER SEND A MESSAGE TO THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG THAT THEIR CRIES FOR DEMOCRACY AND FREEDOM HAVE BE HEARD THROUGH BOTH CHAMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS AND THAT AMERICA STANDS WITH THEM IN THEIR CALL FOR JUSTICE AND SELF-DETERMINATION. WITH THAT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

Senator Tom Cotton

THE HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY ACT IS REALLY ABOUT PROMISES, MAKING PROMISES AND KEEPING PROMISES. UNFORTUNATELY, THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY HAS A LONG HISTORY OF MAKING PROMISES BUT NOT KEEPING THEM. YOU CAN ASK A RICE FARMER FROM STETGART, YOU CAN ASK A FACTORY WORK FROM FORT URGE SMITH, A CHRISTIAN MERCY FROM CERCI. IN THIS CASE, CHINA PROMISED IN 1984 THEY WOULD UPHOLD THE ONE-COUNTRY, TWO-SYSTEMS APPROACH TO HONG KONG WHEN IT TOOK OVER IN 1997. IT PROMISED TO PRESERVE THE FREEDOMS THAT HAVE MADE HONG KONG DISTINCTIVE, THE FREEDOM TO PRACTICE ONE’S RELIGION AS ONE SEIZE FIT TO SPEAK ONE’S MIND AND PARTICIPATE IN THE POLITICAL PROCESS. BUT THAT’S JUST ANOTHER PROCESS THEY’RE ON THE — PROMISE THEY ARE A HE ON THE VERGE OF BREAKING. APPARENTLY THE ONE-COUNTRY, TWO-SYSTEMS APPROACH CAN’T SATISFY BEIJING’S RAPACIOUS APPETITE. THEY LOOK AND COVET AT HONG KONG’S WEALTH AND THEY FEAR AND LOATHE ITS FREEDOM, WHICH STANDS IN SHINING CONTRAST TO THE ORWELLIAN OPPRESSION ON THE MAINLAND. IN FACT, THEY FEAR THAT MAINLAND CHINESE MIGHT LOOK ACROSS THE BAY AND START TO GET IDEAS. SO THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY HAS BEEN BREAKING ITS PROMISES TO HONG KONG AND TO THE WORLD, WAGING A BRUTAL CAMPAIGN TO ABSORB HONG KONG INTO ITS DYSTOPIAN HIGH-TECH DICTATORSHIP. HONG KONGERS ARE BRAVELY RESISTING IN THE FACE OF THIS KIND OF ESCALATING VIOLENCE. IN RECENT DAYS, HONG KONG SECURITY FORCES HAVE SHOT A PROTESTER IN THE STOMACH. THEY’VE TRAPPED HUNDREDS OF STUDENTS IN A UNIVERSITY USING RUBBER BULLETS AND TEAR GAS ON THEM AND THEY’VE THREATENED THEM WITH MASS ARREST. BEIJING’S PROP BEGANNIVITIS HAVE BEEN HINTING THAT EVEN HARSHER MEASURES ARE ON THE WAY. AN ARTICLE IN THE PARTY-CONTROLLED DAILY ARGUES THAT HONG KONG MUST INTEGRATE WITH THE MAINLAND AND THEN REEDUCATE HONG KONGERS JUST LIKE THEY WERE DOING WITH THE UIGHURS. LET ME SAY IT AGAIN. IT WOULD BE A GRAVE MISTAKE OF HISTORIC PROPORTION. SURPASSION — SURPASSING THE MASSACRE AT TIANANMEN SQUARE IF THEY WERE TO CRACK DOWN ON HONG KONG. THE HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY ACT IS ABOUT MORE THAN CHINA MAKING AND BREAKING PROMISES. IT’S ALSO ABOUT THE UNITED STATES FINALLY ENFORCING CHINA’S PROMISES. WE HAVE A SHOT TO AVERT CATASTROPHE, PROTECT THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG, AND TO FINALLY ENFORCE BEIJING PROMISES OR HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR BREAKING THOSE PROMISES. VERY SOON THE SENATE WILL PASS THIS LEGISLATION ON A UNANIMOUS BIPARTISAN BASIS TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF SENTIMENT IN THE CONGRESS. THIS LEGISLATION WILL REQUIRE THE SECRETARY OF STATE TO CERTIFY HONG KONG’S YOU A TON AUTONOMY FROM — AUTONOMY FROM THE MAINTAINED EACH YEAR OTHERWISE THEY WILL LOSE THE SPECIAL PRIVILEGES THAT U.S. LAW GRANTS TO HONG KONG. THE BILL WILL FREEZE THE ASSETS AND TRAVEL 6 OFFICIALS WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR ABDUCTING HONG KONGERS, LIKE THE JOURNALISTS AND BOOK SELLERS WHO HAVE BEEN VANISHING WITHOUT A TRACE SINCE 2017. AND IT WILL ENSURE THAT PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTERS CAN GET VISAS TO THE UNITED STATES, DESPITE THEIR SPECIOUS ARRESTS. BUT IF THE CHINESE — BUT THE CHINESE COMMUNIST WILL SIMPLY PULL BACK FROM THE BRINK, IF THEY WILL KEEP THEIR PROMISES, IF THEY WILL RESPECT THE ONE-COUNTRY, TWO-SYSTEM APPROACH, NONE OF THAT WILL HAPPEN. SO BEIJING HAS A PROMISE. KEEP ITS PROMISES OR GIVE AMERICANS AND THE WORLD ONE MORE REASON TO TREAT CHINA LIKE AN OUTLAW REGIME. SO CHOOSE WISELY, MR. GENERAL SECRETARY XI.

Senator Dick Durbin

MADAM PRESIDENT. MADAM PRESIDENT, I WANT TO THANK MY COLLEAGUE, SENATOR RUBIO, CARDIN, MENENDEZ, AND REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS SMITH FOR MOVING THE HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY ACT IN BOTH CHAMBERS, LEGISLATION WHICH I AM PROUD TO COSPONSOR. WITH THE SITUATION DETERIORATING BY THE HOUR IN HONG KONG, THE PASSAGE OF LEGISLATION COULDN’T BE MORE TIMELY. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES IN THE HOUSE TO TAKE ACTION QUICKLY AFTER WE HAVE ACTED. THIS BILL SENDS AN IMPORTANT MESSAGE OF BIPARTISAN SUPPORT FROM THE U.S. CONGRESS FOR THE DEMOCRATIC ASPIRATIONS OF THE BROAD MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG. SOME OF YOU MAY REALIZE THAT WE JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO CELEBRATED THE 30th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BLOODY CRACKDOWN THAT ENDED THE PEACEFUL DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT IN TIANANMEN SQUARE. WHO AMONG US CAN FORGET THOSE RIVETING WEEKS DURING WHICH THERE WAS REAL HOPE AND POSSIBILITY OF CHINA OPENING ITS POLITICAL SYSTEM THAT GOT US A DEMOCRACY STATUTE MODELED AFTER OUR OWN STATUE OF LIBERTY AND SADLY THE JARRING IMAGE OF A PROTESTER STANDING TO TRY TO BLOCK THE ONSLAUGHT OF A TANK. THE CRUDE PROPAGANDA AND DISINFORMATION USED BY COMMUNIST HARDLINERS TO BRAINWASH CONSCRIPTS TO TURN ON THEIR OWN PEOPLE IS BOTH HEARTBREAKING AND INFURIATING. REMEMBERING THOSE DAYS, WE MUST NOT SIT BY IDLY AND QUIETLY TO ALLOW HONG KONG’S FREEDOMS TO BE SIMILARLY THREATENED. I HAVE MOVED IN THE FACE OF INCREASINGLY EXCESSIVE USE OF FORCE BY HONG KONG POLICE IN ONE OF THE MOST VIBRANT CITIES IN THE WORLD. WHAT EXACTLY ARE THE HONG KONG PROTESTERS FIGHTING FOR? THE FREEDOMS WE IN AMERICA TAKE FOR GRANTED EVERY DAY. THE FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY, SUFFRAGE, SPEECH, DUE PROCESS, AND RULE OF LAW. RATHER THAN SITTING DOWN WITH THE PROTESTERS, HONG KONG AUTHORITIES HAVE INCREASINGLY USED EXCESSIVE FORCE INSTEAD OF ENGAGING IN CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE. ULTIMATELY, I BELIEVE THE HONG KONG GOVERNMENT AND THE PROTESTERS ARE CAPABLE OF FINDING A SOLUTION, AND I HOPE THAT THEY DO. LET ME END BY APPEALING TO THE LEADERSHIP IN CHINA TO SHOW THE COURAGE TO ALLOW THE CONTINUED, PROSPEROUS DEMOCRATIC AUTONOMY ENJOYED BY THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG. HONG KONG’S CONTINUED SPECIAL STATUS IS A SIGN OF STRENGTH AND CONFIDENCE, NOT WEAKNESS. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

Senator Rick Scott

I RISE TODAY TO SPEAK ABOUT THE GREATEST THREAT THE UNITED STATES FACES IN THE NEXT CENTURY, THE THREAT OF COMMUNIST CHINA. I HAVE BEEN SAYING IT FOR MONTHS, COMMUNIST CHINA IS NOT OUR FRIEND. THEY ARE STEALING OUR TECHNOLOGY, REFUSING TO OPEN UP THEIR MARKETS TO FOREIGN GOODS AS REQUIRED BY THE W.T.O., MILITARIZING THE SOUTH CHINA SEA, EVEN AFTER PROMISING PRESIDENT OBAMA THEY WOULDN’T. HOLDING OVER ONE MILLION WE GERS IN PRISON — UIGHURS IN PRISON CAMPS JUST FOR THEIR RELIGION. AND COMMUNIST CHINA IS INTENTIONALLY PUSHING FENTANYL TO THE UNITED STATES, KILLING AMERICANS EVERY DAY. CHIFT CHINA CONTINUES TO STRIP THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG OF THEIR BASIC RIGHTS. I WAS THE FIRST U.S. SENATOR TO VISIT HONG KONG SITS THE PROTESTS STARTED NEARLY SIX MONTHS AGO. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO MEET WITH PROTESTERS, STUDENTS, PARENTS, AND GRANDPARENTS WHO ARE FIGHTING TO REGAIN THE FREEDOM THEY WERE ONCE PROMISED. I HEARD THEIR STORIES, HORRIBLE AND FRIGHTENING STORIES OF POLICE BRUTALITY, THREATS AGAINST INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR FAMILIES AND MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCES. SIX MONTHS IN AND NO SIGNS OF COMMUNIST CHINA LOOSENING THEIR GRIP. THEIR EFFORTS TO CROCK DOWN ON THE PROTESTS IN HONG KONG REFLECT THEIR COMMITMENT TO DENYING BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS AND SNUFFING OUT ANY OPPOSITION TO THEIR TOTALITARIAN GOALS. WE CANNOT STAY SILENT. GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY XI IS TRYING TO BE THE DOMINANT WORLD POWER. IT’S HONG KONG NOW. THEN IT WILL BE TAIWAN. COMMUNIST CHINA BELIEVES THAT IN ORDER FOR THEM TO BE STRONGER, OTHER FREEDOM-LOVING COUNTRIES MUST BE WEAKER. AS COMMUNIST CHINA BECOMES MORE AND MORE AGGRESSIVE, WE MUST ASK OURSELVES IS THIS THE NEXT TIANANMEN SQUARE? WE ALL REMEMBER THAT FAMOUS IMAGE. TIMES HAVE CHANGED, BUT ONE THING STAYS THE SAME. WHEREVER THE TOTALITARIAN REGIMES EXIST, IT WILL BE BRAVE FREEDOM FIGHTERS WHO WILL STAND UP AGAINST INJUSTICE AND STAND FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. THAT’S WHAT WE’RE SEEING IN HONG KONG TODAY. BEIJING SOLDIERS HAVE BEEN APPEARING ON THE CITY STREETS, RAISING QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ARMY’S FUTURE ROLE. WILL COMMUNIST CHINA ONCE AGAIN USE ITS MILITARY MIGHT TO QUASH PEACEFUL PROTESTS? WILL THEY AGAIN STAND AGAINST THOSE FIGHTING FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY? AND WILL THE UNITED STATES STAND BY AND ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN? WE’RE SEEING AMERICANS LIKE MICHAEL BLOOMBERG PUTTING PROFITS ABOVE HUMAN RIGHTS AND PROPPING UP THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT BY CONTINUING TO HOST HUGE EVENTS IN COMMUNIST CHINA. IT’S TIME FOR THE WORLD TO STAND AND PRESENT A UNIFIED FORCE FRONT AGAINST COMMUNIST CHINA’S AGGRESSION AND THAT STARTS WITH SUPPORTING THE BRAVE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG. WE MUST DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO COMMUNICATE OUR COMMITMENT TO DEMOCRACY, FREEDOM, AND HUMAN RIGHTS. I’M PROUD TO STAND IN SUPPORT OF THE HONG KONG FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY ACT WHICH WILL GIVE THE UNITED STATES MORE AUTHORITY TO REEVALUATE BEIJING’S INFLUENCE ON HONG KONG. THIS BILL MAKES IT CLEAR THAT THE GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY XI IS TO COMPLY WITH WHAT CHINA AGREED TO IN 1997. COMMUNIST CHINA MUST GIVE HONG KONG ITS AUTONOMY OR THE UNITED STATES WILL CONTINUE TO RAMP UP PRESSURE ON COMMUNIST CHINA. WE CANNOT UNDERESTIMATE THIS THREAT. WE MUST BE VIGILANT. WE MUST BE AGGRESSIVE. AMERICA’S ROLE OF FIGHTING FOR FREEDOM AND LIBERTY WORLDWIDE DEPENDS ON IT. THE FUTURE OF OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN DEPENDS ON IT. TO THE BRAVE AND RESILIENT PEOPLE OF HONG KONG, THE UNITED STATES IS WITH YOU. YOUR FIGHT WILL NOT BE IN VAIN, AND IT DOESN’T GO UNNOTICED. AND TO COMMUNIST CHINA AND GENERAL SECRETARY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY XI, CONSIDER YOUR NEXT MOVES CAREFULLY. THE WORLD IS WATCHING. I WON’T STOP FIGHTING UNTIL AMERICA’S ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL FUTURE AND THE FREEDOM OF NATIONS ACROSS THE GLOBE IS SECURED FROM THE THREAT OF CHINA’S INFLUENCE. I WANT TO THANK SENATOR RUBIO, SENATOR CARDIN, AND ALL THE SENATORS IN THE U.S. SENATE FOR THEIR SUPPORT OF THIS BILL. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

Senator Josh Hawley

MADAM PRESIDENT, JUST TWO BRIEF POINTS THIS EVENING. THE FIRST IS THAT I’M PROUD TO JOIN NOT ONLY AS A SUPPORTER OF THIS MEASURE BUT AS AN ORIGINAL COSPONSOR, AND I WANT TO THANK THE OTHER SENATORS, SENATOR RUBIO, ESPECIALLY SENATOR CARDIN FOR THEIR LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE, SENATOR RISCH. BUT I WANT TO BE CLEAR THAT WE ARE HERE TODAY IN THIS CHAMBER, AND WHAT WE ARE DOING IS POSSIBLE TONIGHT BECAUSE OF THE BRAVERY AND THE COURAGE OF THE PROTESTS IN HONG KONG. MANY OF THEM VERY YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE RISKING THEIR VERY LIVES, TAKING TO THE STREETS, STANDING FOR DEMOCRACY, STANDING FOR THE PROMISES THAT WERE MADE TO THEM BY BEIJING MANY YEARS AGO AND FIGHTING FOR THEM NOW, PUTTING EVERYTHING ON THE LINE, AND I JUST WANT TO SAY TO THOSE PROTESTERS THAT YOU ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE, THAT YOUR LIVES HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE. AND TO THOSE WHO EVEN NOW ARE TRAPPED INSIDE POLYU. IN THIS SIEGE THAT THE HONG KONG POLICE FORCE HAS CREATED, THIS HUMANITARIAN CRISIS THAT THE HONG KONG POLICE FORCE HAS FOSTERED, WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS INSPIRING THE WORLD. WHAT YOU ARE DOING HAS MOVED THIS BODY. WHAT YOU ARE DOING IS CHANGING THE WORLD. SO THANK YOU FOR YOUR ENCOURAGE. THANK YOU FOR YOUR BRAVERY. THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING IN YOUR CITY. AND THANK YOU FOR BELIEVING IN HONG KONG. AND THE OTHER THING I WOULD SAY, MADAM PRESIDENT, IS THAT WHILE TODAY IS A GOOD DAY IN THE STRUGGLE TO PRESERVE THE FREEDOMS OF THIS CITY AND THE STRUGGLE AGAINST A TOTALITARIAN REGIME IN BEIJING, IT IS NOT THE LAST DAY. AND ALTHOUGH THIS STEP IS AN IMPORTANT STEP THAT THIS CHAMBER TAKES, IT IS NOT THE LAST STEP THAT THIS NATION MAY NEED TO TAKE IN ORDER TO HOLD CHINA TO ITS COMMITMENTS MADE IN 1984 IN ORDER TO PROTECT THE AUTONOMY AND THE LIBERTY OF THE CITY OF HONG KONG, BECAUSE MAKE NO MISTAKE, WE ARE IN FOR A LONG STRUGGLE WITH COMMUNIST CHINA. WE ARE IN FOR A LONG STRUGGLE WITH BEIJING. WE KNOW WHAT THEIR AMBITIONS ARE, TO DOMINATE HONG KONG, TO DOMINATE TAIWAN, TO DOMINATE THE REGION AND ULTIMATELY TO IMPOSE THEIR WILL ON THE ENTIRE INTERNATIONAL SYSTEM. AND WE ARE GOING TO HAVE TO STAND AGAINST THAT FOR FREEDOM, FOR LIBERTY, FOR OUR SECURITY, AND OUR PROSPERITY. SO THERE IS MUCH TO DO, MADAM PRESIDENT. THERE IS A LONG ROAD AHEAD OF US. BUT TODAY IS A GOOD DAY, AND I HOPE THAT THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG WILL SEE THAT THE PEOPLE OF THE FREE WORLD ARE AWAKE, THAT THEY ARE WITH YOU, AND WE ARE READY TO STAND TOGETHER. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

Senator Marsha Blackburn

THANK YOU, MADAM PRESIDENT. I WANT TO THANK SENATOR RUBIO FOR THE WORK HE HAS DONE THIS A FEW MINUTES EARLIER. TODAY I SPOKE ABOUT THE CAUSE OF FREEDOM AND HOW WE ARE SEEING PEOPLE AROUND THE GLOBE STAND UP FOR FREEDOM, AND YES, INDEED, WE SEE THIS IN HONG KONG, AND IT DOES INSPIRE US, AND THE MESSAGE THAT WE ARE SENDING TO BEIJING IS THAT INDEED WE ARE WATCHING AND WE ARE PAYING ATTENTION, AND TO THE HONG KONG PROTESTERS FOR THEM TO KNOW THAT WE ARE WATCHING WHAT THEY ARE DOING AND THAT WE ARE STANDING WITH THEM. IT’S IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT CHINA HAS REALLY EARNED ITS PLACE ATOP THE LIST OF THE WORLD’S MOST NOTORIOUS HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATORS AND OVER THE PAST FEW WEEKS HONG KONG’S DESCENT INTO CHAOS AND BLOODSHED HAS PROVIDED A MUCH-NEEDED REMINDER OF THE HORRORS, THE ABSOLUTE HORRORS OF AUTHORITARIAN RULE. THERE CAN BE NO CHANGE WITHOUT ACCOUNTABILITY, AND BEIJING NEEDS TO KNOW WE ARE FOCUSED ON THAT ACCOUNTABILITY, WHICH IS WHY TODAY I AM SO PLEASED TO STAND WITH THESE OTHER MEMBERS OF THIS CHAMBER IN SUPPORT OF THE HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY ACT. THE BILL DOES DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY, NOT ONLY FROM BEIJING BUT ALSO FROM US. IT WILL REQUIRE US TO MONITOR HONG KONG’S PROGRESS TOWARD AUTONOMY AND CHINA’S BEHAVIOR TOWARD HONG KONG PEOPLE WHO CHOOSE TO EXERCISE THEIR INTERNATIONALLY RECOGNIZED RIGHTS, THOSE RIGHTS THAT WE HAVE SPOKEN OF IN THIS CHAMBER TODAY. THE BILL WILL HELP US IDENTIFY THE TACTICS BEIJING USES TO CAPTURE HONG KONG’S DISSIDENTS AND THEN TO TRAP THEM ON MAINLAND CHINA, AND WILL ALSO ENSURE THAT NO PEACEFUL PROTESTERS ARE DENIED VISAS TO THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE OF THE ALLEGED CRIMES. NOW, I WILL TELL YOU THE BILL IS A GREAT START, BUT THE TIME AND THE WORK THAT WE PUT IN IT WILL BE WASTED UNLESS EVERY SINGLE MEMBER OF THIS CHAMBER MAKES A COMMITMENT TO HOLD US ACCOUNTABLE, TO HOLD CHINA ACCOUNTABLE. I WOULD ENCOURAGE MY COLLEAGUES TO VIEW THEIR SUPPORT OF THIS LEGISLATION AS A PROMISE TO THESE PROTESTERS IN HONG KONG THAT THEIR CRIES FOR HELP ARE NOT GOING TO GO UNANSWERED. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

Senator Ted Cruz

MADAM PRESIDENT, TODAY, BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN, BOYS AND GIRLS, ARE STANDING UP AND DEMANDING THAT THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY PROTECT HONG KONG’S AUTONOMY, PROTECT FREE SPEECH, AND DEFEND HUMAN RIGHTS. DESPITE THESE PEACEFUL PROTESTS, THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY IS FIGHTING BACK WITH BRUTALITY AND VIOLENCE. THE POLICE BRUTALITY THAT WE HAVE SEEN AND THE COMMUNIST CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY’S LARGER ASSAULT ON THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG HAS BEEN SHAMEFUL. JUST THIS PAST WEEKEND, THE HONG KONG POLICE BEGAN ATTACKING YOUNG, INNOCENT STUDENTS WHO WERE PEACEFULLY PROTESTING THAT BRUTALITY. THEY WERE ATTACKED WITH TEAR GAS AND RUBBER BULLETS. THESE STUDENTS’ COLLEGE CAMPUS WAS TURNED INTO A WAR ZONE WHERE NO ONE WAS SAFE. AND TODAY WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO TELL THE WORLD THESE BLATANT HUMAN RIGHTS ATTACKS AND THIS CAMPAIGN TO BULLY HONG KONG INTO SUBMISSION ARE NOT OKAY, AND AMERICA WON’T STAND FOR IT. LAST MONTH, I TRAVELED TO HONG KONG. I MET WITH MANY BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN WHO ARE STANDING UP. I MET WITH THE DISSIDENTS, THE PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTERS WHO ARE SPEAKING OUT FOR HONG KONG’S AUTONOMY AND FREE SPEECH AND BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS. ALONG WITH THEM, I DRESSED IN ALL BLACK TO EXPRESS MY SOLIDARITY WITH THE PEACEFUL PROTESTERS WHO HAVE TAKEN TO THE STREETS. RIGHT NOW, IN RESPONSE TO THAT PROTEST, TEAR GAS, SPONGE GRENADES, RUBBER BULLETS ARE BEING FIRED AT UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES IN HONG KONG. IN SHIN JIANG PROVINCE, MILLIONS OF UIGHURS AND OTHER MINORITIES ARE LANGUISHING IN CHINESE CONCENTRATION CAMPS. AND ACROSS CHINA, PRACTITIONERS ARE CAPTURED AND MURDERED SO THAT THE COMMUNIST PARTY CAN HARVEST THEIR ORGANS. FREEDOM FROM THE BRUTALITY AND THE TYRANNY OF THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY IS THE BATTLE CRY OF THE DISSIDENTS IN HONG KONG. WHAT HAVE THEY BEEN WAVING AMERICAN FLAGS AND WHAT THIS VERY BEEN SINGING? THE AMERICAN NATIONAL ANTHEM, RECITING QUOTATIONS FROM OUR FOUNDING FATHERS WHO RISKED EVERYTHING FOR FREEDOM IN AMERICA. MADAM PRESIDENT, I WANT TO THANK SENATORS RUBIO AND CARDIN. I WANT TO THANK SENATOR RISCH AND SENATOR MENENDEZ AND ALL OF THE MEMBERS OF THE SENATE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, BOTH REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, WHO HAVE JOINED TOGETHER THIS LEGISLATION THE SENATE IS PREPARING TO PASS, THE HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY ACT IS IMPORTANT LEGISLATION, IT IS BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION. I URGE THE HOUSE TO TAKE IT UP AND PASS IT AND PASS IT PROMPTLY. THE PEOPLE IN HONG KONG ARE ENGAGED IN AN EXISTENTIAL BATTLE FOR LIBERTY. AND THEY SHOULD KNOW, AND THEY WILL KNOW BY OUR ACTIONS IN JUST A FEW MOMENTS THAT THE PEOPLE OF AMERICA STAND WITH HONG KONG. I YIELD THE FLOOR.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

MADAM PRESIDENT, I WANT TO SINCERELY THANK MY COLLEAGUES. THIS HAS BEEN A GREAT BIPARTISAN MOMENT ON THE FLOOR OF THE SENATE FOR A VERY IMPORTANT ISSUE. I WANT TO THANK PARTICULARLY MY COLLEAGUES FROM FLORIDA, SENATOR RUBIO; MARYLAND SENATOR CARDIN, NEW JERSEY SENATOR MENENDEZ AND SENATOR RISCH. THE SENATE HAS JUST SENT A RESOUNDING MESSAGE TO THE CHINESE COMMUNITY PARTY AND PRESIDENT XI THAT THE UNITED STATES STANDS WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PROTESTERS IN HONG KONG. THE BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION, WITH THE GREAT HELP OF THE CHAIR AND RANKING MEMBERS OF THE FOREIGN RELATIONS COMMITTEE, WILL SAFEGUARD HONG KONG’S DEMOCRACY AND AUTONOMY AND HOLD ACCOUNTABLE ANY RESPONSIBLE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES AND THE BIPARTISAN LEGISLATION THAT WILL SOON BE OFFERED BY THE SENATORS FROM OREGON AND TEXAS WILL MAKE SURE THAT U.S. COMPANIES DON’T SELL LETHAL EQUIPMENT TO HONG KONG. WE HAVE SENT A MESSAGE TO PRESIDENT XI. YOUR SUPPRESSION OF FREEDOM, WHETHER IN HONG KONG, IN NORTHWEST CHINA, OR ANYWHERE ELSE WILL NOT STAND. YOU CANNOT BE A GREAT LEADER, AND YOU CANNOT BE A GREAT COUNTRY WHEN YOU OPPOSE FREEDOM, WHEN YOU ARE SO BRUTAL TO THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG, YOUNG AND OLD WHO ARE PROTESTING. WHEN YOU ARE SO BRUTAL TO THE UIGHURS IN NORTHWEST CHINA. AND WHEN CHINA IS CENSORED SO THE CHINESE PEOPLE CAN’T GET THE TRUTH. HISTORY HAS SHOWN THAT THAT ALWAYS FAILS, PRESIDENT XI. ALWAYS FAILS. AND YET CHINA HAS TAKEN DRAMATIC STEPS BACKWARD IN THE CURTAILMENT OF FREEDOM. AS MY COLLEAGUES WELL KNOW, THE PROTESTS IN HONG KONG HAVE NOW TAKEN AN OMINOUS TURN. THE HONG KONG POLICE, NO DOUBT AT THE BEHEST OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY IN BEIJING, HAVE UNDERTAKEN INCREASINGLY VIOLENT CRACKDOWN ON STUDENT PROTESTERS. AS THE RULING PARTY IN BEIJING CONTINUES TO FLOUT HONG KONG’S INDEPENDENCE WHILE PERPETRATING SUPPRESSION OF MINORITY GROUPS FROM ONE END OF CHINA TO THE OTHER, AMERICA’S SUPPORT FOR THE DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS OF HONG KONG CITIZENRY IS PARAMOUNT. TO THE PEOPLE OF CHINA, WE STAND WITH YOU IN FREEDOM. TO THE KIDS IN HONG KONG, THE STUDENTS AND THE ADULTS, WE STAND WITH YOU. TO THE UIGHURS WHO SIMPLY WANT TO PRACTICE THEIR RELIGION, WE STAND WITH YOU. AND FREEDOM WILL PREVAIL, AND THE CHINESE SYSTEM WILL EITHER CHANGE OR FAIL. I YIELD THE FLOOR. A SENATOR: MADAM PRESIDENT.

Senator Jeff Merkley

ON JUNE 9 THE STREETS OF HONG KONG FILLED WITH OVER A MILLION INDIVIDUALS PEACEFULLY PROTESTING WHAT THEY SAW AS AN UNJUST LAW AND ATTACK ON DEMOCRACY. IT WAS AN INCREDIBLE VISUAL OF PEOPLE STANDING UP FOR DEMOCRACY AND STANDING UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS. HERE WE ARE FIVE MONTHS LATER, THE IMAGES ARE MUCH DIFFERENT. YOU’D BE FORGIVEN IF YOU SAW THEM AND THOUGHT WE WERE IN A WAR ZONE. HUNDREDS OF STUDENT PROTESTERS BARRICADED THEMSELVES IN A HONG KONG UNIVERSITY SURROUNDED BY ARMORED RIOT POLICE, PUMMELED BY RUBBER BULLETS AND TEAR GAS, FIRES RAGING, DESTRUCTION, DEVASTATION AND SMOKE EVERYWHERE. FIVE MONTHS OF PROTEST, RISING ANGER AND TENSION. FIVE MONTHS OF POLICE CRACKDOWNS ON PEACEFUL PROTESTS SPURRING FURTHER PROTESTS AND RESISTANCE, AND U.S.-MADE — U.S. EXPORTED POLICE EQUIPMENT BEING MISUSED BY THE HONG KONG POLICE TO VIOLENT THE HUMAN — TO VIOLATE THE HOOM RIGHTS OF PROTESTERS. SO FAR OVER 10,000 ROUNDS OF TEAR GAS HAVE BEEN FIRED INTO THE CROWDS OF PROTESTERS. WE BELIEVE IN FREE SPEECH, FREEDOM TO ASSEMBLE, FREEDOM TO PROTEST, NOT STATE-SPONSORED OPPRESSION AND VIOLENCE. IT IS TIME TO BAN THE EXPORT OF U.S.-MADE POLICE EQUIPMENT TO HONG KONG THAT IS BEING USED TO ABUSE THEIR HUMAN RIGHTS. THAT’S WHY I’M SO PLEASED TO INTRODUCE IN PARTNERSHIP WITH MY COLLEAGUE FROM TEXAS, S. 2710 THAT PROHIBITS THE EXPORT OF MUNITIONS AND CROWD CONTROL EQUIPMENT TO THE HONG KONG POLICE FORCE. SINCE THE PROTESTS IN JUNE, OVER 1,700 HONG KONG RESIDENTS HAVE BEEN INJURED. OVER 5,000 ARRESTED. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL VERIFIED INCIDENTS INVOLVING THE DANGEROUS USE OF U.S. MADE PEPPER SPRAY, BATONS TO BEAT PROTESTERS. ONE YOUNG WOMAN WAS CLUBBED FROM BEHIND WITH A POLICE BATON AND WAS CONTINUED TO BE BEATEN EVEN AFTER SHE WAS ON THE GROUND WITH HER ARMS ZIP TIED BEHIND HER. WE SAW TEAR GAS FIRED INTO CONFINED SPACES IN VIOLENCE OF THE U.N. BASIC PRINCIPLES ON THE USE OF FORCE AND FIREARMS. WE HAVE SEEN BRUTAL POLICE TACTICS THAT CONTINUE EVEN WHEN WOMEN AND MEN ARE HELD IN CAPTIVITY OR IN CUSTODY, REPORT AFTER REPORT OF VIOLENT ASSAULTS TAKING PLACE INSIDE POLICE STATIONS. WE CANNOT TURN A BLIND EYE. IT’S TIME TO STAND WITH THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG WHO ARE DEMANDING A DEMOCRATIC FUTURE AND AGAINST THE VIOLENT SUPPRESSION OF FREE SPEECH. THE BILL THAT THE SENATOR FROM TEXAS AND I HAVE INTRODUCED LAYS OUT A SERIES OF PRODUCTS THAT WE WILL NO LONGER EXPORT TO THE HONG KONG POLICE FORCE. TEAR GAS, PEPPER SPRAY, RUBBER BULLETS, FOAM AND BEAN BAG ROUNDS, PEPPER BALLS, WATER CANNONS, STUN GUNS AND TASERS. THIS BILL IS BACKED BY MANY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE. I HUGE THANK YOU TO THEM. SENATOR MARKEY, SENATOR BLACKBURN, SENATOR COONS, SENATOR INHOFE, SENATOR GILLIBRAND, SENATOR WYDEN AND BRAUN, ?ORD — SENATOR GARDNER AND SENATOR VAN HOLLEN. I AM REALLY PROUD TO STAND HERE IN A BIPARTISAN REPRESENTATION TONIGHT, TO STAND WITH MY COLLEAGUES WHO HAVE INTRODUCED THE HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY ACT AND TO STAND TOGETHER IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION TO BAN THE EXPORT OF THESE BRUTAL CROWD CONTROL STADGES BEING MISUSED — STRATEGIES BEING MISUSED IN HONG KONG BY THE POLICE TO ABUSE PROTESTERS. I TURN TO MY COLLEAGUE FROM TEXAS.

Senator John Cornyn

MADAM PRESIDENT, FOR MONTHS THE WORLD HAS WATCHED AS THE BRAVE CITIZENS OF HONG KONG HAVE SUSTAINED PROTESTS AGAINST CHINA’S DECADES-LONG DEGRADATION OF THEIR CIVIL LIBERTIES. THE U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER HAS FOUND CREDIBLE EVIDENCE OF THE HONG KONG POLICE FORCE USING NONLETHAL CROWD CONTROL WEAPONS IN WAYS VIOLATING INTERNATIONAL NORMS AND STANDARDS. THAT’S WHY I’M PROUD TO SUPPORT THE BIPARTISAN PROTECT HONG KONG ACT AS DESCRIBED BY OUR COLLEAGUE, SENATOR MERKLEY. THE HONG KONG PROTECT ACT WOULD DIRECT THE PRESIDENT TO BAN THE ISSUANCE OF LICENSE FOR COMMERCIAL EXPORT OF RIOT CONTROL WEAPONS LIKE TEAR GAS, PEPPER SPRAY, RUBBER BULLETS, STUN GUNS AND TASERS TO THE HONG KONG POLICE FORCE. THIS ENSURES THAT THE HONG KONG PRO-DEMOCRACY PROTESTERS ARE NOT SUBJECT TO POLICE BRUTALITY USING PRODUCTS MADE IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. MADAM PRESIDENT, I’M ALSO PROUD TO SUPPORT THE JUST-PASSED HONG KONG HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY ACT. I THINK THE STATEMENT BEING MADE BY THE PASSAGE OF THESE TWO PIECES OF LEGISLATION AND THE PRESENCE TODAY OF SO MANY OF OUR COLLEAGUES ON A BIPARTISAN BASIS STANDING WITH THE PEOPLE OF HONG KONG AGAINST THIS OPPRESSION BY THEIR COMMUNIST OVERLORDS IS VERY, VERY SIGNIFICANT. NOW MORE THAN EVER THE UNITED STATES MUST SEND A CLEAR MESSAGE TO CHINA THAT THE FREE WORLD STANDS WITH HONG KONGERS IN THEIR STRUGGLE. MADAM PRESIDENT, I YIELD THE FLOOR.

*This transcript was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.

Source: US. Senate
Edited by staff

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