The United States Congress is sending a clear message to China over their conflict with Hong Kong. Sanctions in response to their most recent aggression from Chinese officials who have violated human rights in the territory, as well as foreign banks that support mainland China’s recent actions against the region.
For months, U.S. lawmakers have been calling out Beijing’s infringement on Hong Kong’s rights. Hong Kong is autonomous from mainland China. Beijing crossed a line through the passage of an anti-sedition law. The effects of this law replace Hong Kong’s justice system with mainland China’s. Furthermore, the law greatly expands mainland China’s ability to prosecute Hong Kong’s citizens, through using language that criminalizes a slew of actions mainland China’s government can determine constituting as terrorism, advocacy for secession, collusion with foreign powers, and subversion. This new law puts those working with the United States against mainland China at risk.
During the past year, millions of individuals in Hong Kong have been protesting mainland China’s gradual takeover of their autonomy. Senator Marsha Blackburn, Senator Mitt Romney, Senator Marco Rubio, and Senator Rick Scott have been increasingly vocal against mainland China’s response to the protests, and their continuous effort to take away Hong Kong’s independence.
The sanctions passed the House Wednesday, and the Senate agreed by unanimous consent to pass the measure. Senator Toomey, who helped draw up the sanctions measure, told reporters he is “confident that the president is going to sign it into law. It puts us on the right side of this very important battle.” The Treasury Department has endorsed the legislation, and in a time where it seems like there is no such thing as bi-partisan support, Congress is on the same page in their desire to hold mainland China accountable, and stand with Hong Kong.