Politics U.S. Senate unanimously passes Hong Kong rights bill backing protesters

tom_mai78101

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate, in a unanimous vote, passed legislation on Tuesday aimed at protecting human rights in Hong Kong amid a crackdown on a pro-democracy protest movement that has gripped the Chinese-ruled financial center for months.

Following the voice vote by senators, the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” now goes to the House of Representatives, which approved its own version of the measure last month. The two chambers will have to work out their differences before any legislation can be sent to President Donald Trump for his consideration.

The Senate passed a second bill, also unanimously, that would ban the export of certain crowd-control munitions to Hong Kong police forces. It bans the export of items such as tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and stun guns.

Under the first Senate bill, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would have 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. It also would provide for sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.

There was no immediate response from the White House, which has yet to say whether Trump would approve the Hong Kong Human Rights bill. A U.S. official said recently that no decision had been made, but the unanimous Senate vote could make a veto more difficult for the Republican president.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said if the measure gets to Trump’s desk there would likely be an intense debate between Trump aides worried that it could undermine trade talks with China and those who believe it is the time to take a stand against China on human rights and Hong Kong’s status.

The Chinese embassy did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

 
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AceHart

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Oh, yeah, "see how woke I am? I'm pointing fingers at you"(*)

But, yes, obviously, this is so going to help... ah, help... it's helping someone, right? Right?
I mean, this must help help someone somewhere, as otherwise this would just be casting stones, which, historically, does never go very far.


(*) yes, doing that very same here. See how woke I am?
 

seph ir oth

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This is a step in the right direction, but based on what I've read in news reports, the phrasing around the certification the Secretary of State does & the decision process they must follow sounds vague ... would have to read the bill to confirm my fear though.
 

tom_mai78101

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would have to read the bill to confirm my fear though.

I tried looking for information, and here's what I found:

What the USA will gain from this bill:

-More trust from the fellow democratic countries in the region: South Korea, Japan, Taiwan etc.

-Rebuild the image that the USA has lost due to things like quitting the Paris Agreement, Iran Nuclear Treaty, betraying the Kurdish forces, bullying fellow democratic countries (For example, asking the South Korea to quintuple their annual payment to $5b to the USA. In return, Korea, a country which still yields their wartime military command to the USA, just signed a defense agreement with China) etc. while righteously highlighting the barbaric nature of the communist regime, effectively weakening the regime's standing at the world stage. (Spent a paragraph as most Americans are ignorant of how bad their foreign policies are and how their image has suffered while feeling 'good' about being barbaric to other countries.

-Rally more support for the trade war and technology war against China.

It's also great for the Hong Kongers and some oppressed citizens in China, but not that great for the communist dictators, they will find their moral standing weaker and their footprint more limited so that they would go ask for support from fellow totalitarian countries or spend more money buying support from smaller countries.

Edit: CCP spokesperson just said If the US sticks to its course, China will surely take forceful measures to resolutely oppose it, hopefully some mainland Chinese would show some initiatives for freedom and sanity too after the lovely Hong Kongers and Americans.
 

jonas

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The Senate passed a second bill, also unanimously, that would ban the export of certain crowd-control munitions to Hong Kong police forces. It bans the export of items such as tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and stun guns.

So the US wants HK police to use live bullets against people who light random people on fire.
 
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