The US must "bear all the consequences": The leadership in Beijing has responded with threats to support the US Senate for the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong. According to the US House of Representatives, the Senate unanimously passed a bill on support for "human rights and democracy" in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
In response, China's Deputy Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu invited US businesswomen William Klein to vigorously protest the actions of the US Senate, the ministry said in Beijing. "We urge the US side to take immediate and effective action to prevent this bill from being passed," the ministry said. Otherwise, China will take decisive action to combat it.
The Senate bill includes measures prohibiting the sale of tear gas, rubber bullets and other equipment used by security forces in Hong Kong against the protesters of the democracy movement.
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In the former British crown colony of Hong Kong, there have been mass protests for six months, which are increasingly turning into violence. The protests were initially directed against a planned law that would have made possible for the first time deliveries to mainland China. Meanwhile, the protest movement demands comprehensive democratic reforms and the removal of the pro-Chinese government in the metropolis (read an interview with a Hong Kong politician on the current crisis here).
The US Senate's "Human Rights and Democracy Decree" provides for US State Department annual reports to Congress as to whether Hong Kong is still sufficiently autonomous from China to justify preferential treatment. Among other things, the situation of civil rights in Hong Kong should be taken into account. The Ministry of Commerce is to report annually on whether China is using Hong Kong to circumvent US export controls and sanctions.
The divergent bills of the Senate and the House of Representatives must now be merged before they are presented to the President for signature. Trump himself has hitherto withheld criticism of China's actions in Hong Kong.