House and Senate Move Anti-China Bill on Hong Kong, Sabotaging U.S. China Policy
Sept. 26, 2019 (EIRNS)—The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, which Beijing has properly termed interference in its domestic affairs, has moved through the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, setting the stage for votes in both chambers in the coming weeks, South China Morning Post reports today.
The bill passed the House committee in a unanimous vote, said Jeff Sagnip, policy director for Rep. Chris Smith, a New Jersey Republican who sponsored the legislation in that chamber. An identical version of the bill, sponsored by Senator “Little” Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, was approved by the Senate committee shortly afterwards.
“Getting out of the committee is the big step,” said Sagnip, who added that a floor vote in the full House of Representatives will take place sometime in October, most likely shortly after Monday, Oct. 14, when Columbus Day is celebrated
The legislation is intended to act as an amendment to the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, which kept U.S. business and other ties to the city intact after its 1997 handover from Britain to China. If passed, the act would, among other mandates, require the U.S. to sanction Chinese officials deemed responsible for undermining basic freedoms in Hong Kong.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement today that the bill was an attempt to wantonly interfere in China’s domestic affairs, and had shown the malicious intention of some in the U.S. Congress to contain China’s development. Passing the bill will only encourage the radical and violent forces in Hong Kong, and send Hong Kong further into chaos, Geng said. It will harm not only China’s interests, but also U.S. interests. China will hit back forcefully at any U.S. action that aims to hurt China’s interests.
A separate statement from the State Council’s Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office said the bill was intended to support anti-China forces and rioters in Hong Kong, which would pour oil on the flame. It described the Hong Kong people who demanded the passage of the bill as traitors.