The United States Senate on Thursday, June 25 unanimously passed the ‘Hong Kong autonomy act’ to allow the US government to penalize banks that will be doing business with the Chinese government or Chinese officials trying to restrict Hong Kong’s autonomy under the new National Security Law, said ALJAZEERA.
The Hong Kong Autonomy Act, once approved by Trump, will enable the USA to restrict or ban visas for officials travelling to the USA, restrict them from acquiring property and making financial transactions subject to the jurisdiction of USA. It defends Hong Kong, an erstwhile British colony handed over to China in 1997 as a special administrative region to it, against CCP National Security Law by imposing sanctions on individuals & entities that violate Hong Kong’s basic freedoms. Police officers are also able to be sanctioned. The bill was brought by Democrat Chris Van Hollen from Maryland and Republican Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania. Companion legislation was introduced in the house with bipartisan support that is required to pass in the House of Representatives to reach President Donald Trump’s desk. Pat Toomey informed, “The mandatory sanctions established in this bill will punish those in China who seek to undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy or erode the basic freedoms promised to Hongkongers.” Last week, The Trump administration in the USA had signed legislation that allows the American Government to hold Chinese officials responsible for China’s persecution of Uighur and other Muslim minority groups. The bill, formally named the “Uighur Human Rights Policy Act of 2020,” was approved by the House and Senate in May. The Trump administration has signed legislation that allows the American Government to hold Chinese officials responsible for China’s persecution of Uighur and other Muslim minority groups. Van Hollen and Toomey combined said their legislation on Hong Kong was a symbolic resolution sponsored by Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri that condemns the Chinese government for breaking its obligations under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Hong Kong Basic Law. They are planning to also file it as an amendment to the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, which is a must-pass piece of legislation for Congress every year and gives the legislation a stronger chance of making it into law. Van Hollen took a swipe at Hawley’s resolution and said the sanctions legislation would have actual consequences for the Chinese Communist Party, The WSJ added.