On Tuesday, the US Senate unitedly adopted legislation supporting “human rights and democracy” in Hong Kong and threatening to revoke its special economic status, prompting China to angrily threatened countermeasures.
Several types of equipment like tear gas, rubber bullets and others that have been used by security forces to suppress pro-democracy protests for nearly six months, will be banned as approved by the lawmakers.
In reply, China stated that if the US carried on making “wrong decisions,” it would “have to take strong countermeasures to defend our national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
Geng Shuang, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said that the US’s purpose was to “support the extremists and violent elements against China that are trying to mess up Hong Kong… and realize their sinister plot to hinder China’s development by taking advantage of the Hong Kong issue.”
Last month, the US House of Representatives passed a similar measure that was protested by China. In order to annually review the favorable trade status that Washington grants to Hong Kong, the Senate’s Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would require the US president.
It makes mandatory sanctions against Hong Kong and Chinese officials who commit human rights abuses including “extrajudicial rendition.”
Republican Senator Marco Rubio asserted, the Senate “sent a clear message to Hong Kongers fighting for their long-cherished freedoms: We hear you, we continue to stand with you and we will not stand idly by as Beijing undermines your autonomy.”
Passage of the bill marks “an important step in holding accountable those Chinese and Hong Kong government officials responsible for Hong Kong’s eroding autonomy and human rights violations.”
Robert Menendez, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s top Democrat added that the legislation “makes it clear that the US will stand firmly and unambiguously with the legitimate aspirations of the people of Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong was flamed up when the pro-democracy movement was ignited in June and millions of protesters took to the streets to oppose a now-abandoned attempt to allow extraditions from Hong Kong to the mainland.