Hong Kong’s law on autonomy would impose sanctions on businesses and individuals who help China limit Hong Kong’s autonomy. It was approved by unanimous vote on Thursday and will now be moved to President Donald Trump’s office.
The Senate first approved the bill last week and the House approved it Wednesday with a minor technical change, according to Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, and Sen. Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat, co-author. of legislation. . The Senate therefore had to approve the slightly modified version before sending it to Trump.
The move by lawmakers comes as China has passed a controversial national security law for Hong Kong, which is giving Beijing new powers for the semi-autonomous city.
Critics say the law, which was not disclosed to the public after its approval, signals an erosion of the city’s precious civil and political freedoms. The Chinese and local governments argue that it is necessary to reduce unrest and maintain continental sovereignty.
Legislation has been widely criticized by opposition lawmakers in Hong Kong, by human rights groups and politicians around the world, with many saying it will boost Beijing’s direct control of the semi-autonomous city.
Many are concerned that it could be used to target political dissidents, activists, human rights lawyers and journalists amid the ongoing crackdown on the central government against civil society under Chinese President Xi Jinping.