World: US House passes Hong Kong 'Democracy Act' - - PressFrom - Australia
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World US House passes Hong Kong 'Democracy Act'

06:05  16 october  2019
06:05  16 october  2019 Source:   msn.com

Lam says in control of Hong Kong, but no options ruled out

  Lam says in control of Hong Kong, but no options ruled out City's chief executive says protests 'no longer peaceful', after weekend of violence and targeted attacks on businesses.At a news conference on Tuesday, Lam said the reality was that the sharp escalation in violence showed the protests were no longer "a peaceful movement for democracy.

US lawmakers have supported Hong Kong protesters by passing a bill aimed at upholding human rights in the city. The bill - which still needs to pass the upper house , the Senate - would mandate an annual review, to see whether Hong Kong had sufficient autonomy from the rest of China to justify its

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act introduced on June 13 in the US Congress Requires the US secretary of state to annually certify Hong Kong ’s autonomy in order to continue the special trade and economic treatment afforded to Hong Kong by the United States – Hong Kong

a crowd of people standing in front of a building: The American flag has been a feature of several of the rallies that have taken place in Hong Kong over the last four months© Anthony WALLACE The American flag has been a feature of several of the rallies that have taken place in Hong Kong over the last four months

The US House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday sought by pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong that aims to defend civil rights in the semi-autonomous territory, prompting an angry response from China.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which will now move to the Senate before it can become law, has drawn rare bipartisan support in a polarized Congress.

The law would end the Hong Kong-US special trading status unless the State Department certifies annually that city authorities are respecting human rights and the rule of law.

Hong Kong moves to protect police families from protest violence

  Hong Kong moves to protect police families from protest violence Hong Kong moves to protect police families from protest violenceThe move is the government's latest step to try to check the protests following Chief Executive Carrie Lam's decision earlier this month to invoke colonial-era emergency measures to outlaw face masks, used by protesters to hide their identity and withstand tear gas.

Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system. The Department of State shall report annually to Congress as to whether The State Department shall allow otherwise qualified Hong Kong residents to obtain visas to work or study in the United States , even if the

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 is a bicameral and bipartisan legislation that reintroduced the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in light of the 2019 Hong Kong

China expressed "strong indignation" over the passing of the act, which also requires the US president to identify and sanction people who are responsible for the erosion of autonomy and serious abuses of human rights in Hong Kong.

"What Hong Kong faces is not the so-called human rights and democracy issue at all, but the issue of stopping violence, reinstating order and upholding the rule of law as soon as possible," said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a statement.

Geng said the US should "stop meddling" and warned China would take "strong measures" to counter the proposed Hong Kong bill.

The act will now move to a similar vote in the Senate before it can become law.

"Today we're simply urging the Chinese president and the Hong Kong Chief Executive, Carrie Lam, to faithfully honor the government's promises" that Hong Kong's rights and autonomy would be protected, Republican Representative Chris Smith, prime sponsor of the bill, said Tuesday on the House floor.

Lam to address Hong Kong legislature amid simmering anger

  Lam to address Hong Kong legislature amid simmering anger Chief executive expected to outline pro-poor measures including cash handouts, but protesters unlikely to be swayed.Lam is expected to detail economic relief and other measures to benefit the city’s poorest, such as cash handouts and public housing, when she addresses legislators at 11am (03:00 GMT).

“ Democrats and Republicans in the House and the Senate enthusiastically support this legislation,” Pelosi said. “ We stand with all who are FILE PHOTO: Protesters march to call for the United States Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in Hong Kong , China

The bill will require the US to determine if political developments in Hong Kong justify changing the city’s treatment as a separate trading entity. It could also lead to sanctions against individuals deemed responsible for actions to undermine Hong Kong ’s autonomy.

- 'External forces' -

China has frequently accused "external forces" of fuelling weeks of unrest in the global financial hub.

Millions have taken to the streets of Hong Kong, initially against a now-dropped bid by its leaders to allow extraditions to the authoritarian Chinese mainland.

The months-long movement has expanded into a broader pro-democracy push in the territory where activists say freedoms are being eroded by Beijing, despite being written into a deal the deal that governed Hong Kong's 1997 transfer to China from British colonial rule.

"The House just sent a strong message to the people of Hong Kong: We stand with you in the fight for democracy and justice," said Ben Ray Lujan, a House Democrat.

Republican House member Mario Diaz-Balart said the Act ensures "that the special relationship with Hong Kong endures only as long as Hong Kong retains the autonomy and freedoms that justify that special relationship."

The House also approved, by a similar voice vote, a related bill to prohibit the export of certain non-lethal crowd control items such as tear gas to Hong Kong.

Amnesty International has accused the city's officers of using excessive force, although the police say they have exercised restraint.

A separate house resolution called on the Hong Kong government to begin negotiations to address the demonstrators' demands, which include universal suffrage and an independent probe into police conduct.

Prominent Hong Kong activists testified before a congressional hearing last month in support of the legislation approved by the House on Tuesday.

Hong Kong protesters crash NBA opening night party .
Hong Kong protesters crash NBA opening night partyWhile the Raptors gifted the opening night crowd with t-shirts with a gold Raptor and replica championship rings, outside Scotiabank Arena the protesters were giving away black t-shirts with the message "The North Stand With Hong Kong" in bright yellow across the front.

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