World U.S. House to attempt quick passage of Hong Kong human rights bill

21:46  20 november  2019
21:46  20 november  2019 Source:   reuters.com

U.S. Senate unanimously passes Hong Kong rights bill

  U.S. Senate unanimously passes Hong Kong rights bill The U.S. Senate, in a unanimous vote, passed legislation on Tuesday aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong amid China's crackdown on a pro-democracy protest movement in that vital financial center. © ASSOCIATED PRESS Riot police detain a protestor after he tried to escape from Hong Kong Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019. About 100 anti-government protesters remained holed up at a Hong Kong university Tuesday, their choices dwindling along with their food supplies as they braced for the endgame in a police siege of the campus that entered its third day.

By Patricia Zengerle and Richard Cowan

a man riding a skateboard down a sidewalk: A protester is escorted by medical staff out of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong © Reuters/ADNAN ABIDI A protester is escorted by medical staff out of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) in Hong Kong

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday will attempt to pass legislation unanimously approved by the Senate that aims to protect human rights in Hong Kong amid a pro-democracy movement there, a senior House aide said.

Drew Hammill, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told Reuters the bill passed on Tuesday by the Senate would be brought to the House floor for passage.

If the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passes the House and is signed into law by President Donald Trump, it would request Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to certify at least once a year that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to qualify for special U.S. trading consideration that bolsters its status as a world financial center.

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It also would provide for sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio was a main sponsor of the Senate-passed bill, which was co-sponsored by Republican Senator Jim Risch and Democratic senators Bob Menendez and Ben Cardin.

The House is also due to take up a second bill that also passed the Senate unanimously on Wednesday, to ban the export of certain crowd-control munitions to Hong Kong police forces. That measure, backed by Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley, bans the export of items such as tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and stun guns.

The White House did not provide an immediate response on whether the president intended to sign or veto the legislation.

A U.S. official said recently that no decision had been made, but the unanimous vote in the Senate, where Trump's fellow Republicans hold a majority of seats, could make a veto more difficult for the president.

In Beijing on Wednesday, China condemned the legislation's passage, and vowed strong counter-measures to safeguard its sovereignty and security.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan and Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Richard Chang)

China Condemns U.S. Over Hong Kong. That Won’t Stop Trade Talks. .
SHANGHAI — China vented on Thursday after President Trump signed new human rights legislation covering the protest-wracked city of Hong Kong. It denounced the new law as illegal interference in its own affairs. It summoned the American ambassador for the second time in a week. It vowed retaliation. The threats sounded severe. They also sounded empty. Behind the harsh rhetoric, China has few options for striking back at the United States in a meaningful way. And it has bigger priorities — namely, ending the increasingly punishing trade war between the two countries.

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