The Hong Kong Autonomy Act would impose sanctions on businesses and individuals who helped China restrict Hong Kong’s autonomy. Thursday was unanimously approved and will now go to President Donald Trump’s table.
According to Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey and co-authors of legislation, Senator Chris Van Hollen, the Senate initially passed the bill last week, and Parliament approved on Wednesday with a slight technical change. . So the Senate had to approve a slightly modified version before sending it to Trump.
Lawmakers’ move comes when China adopts a controversial national security law for Hong Kong that allows Beijing to sweep new forces over the semi-autonomous city.
Critics say that the law, which was not disclosed to the public after its passing, has been eroded by the city’s valuable civil and political freedoms; China and local governments argue that it is necessary to reduce restlessness and maintain mainland sovereignty.
The law has been widely criticized by opposition lawmakers, human rights groups, and politicians worldwide in Hong Kong, and many said it would strengthen Beijing’s direct control over a semi-autonomous city.
Many are concerned that the central government may be used to target political opponents, activists, human rights lawyers and journalists amidst the ongoing pressure on civil society affiliated with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
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