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Hong Kong: US Senate strengthens protesters


The vote was unanimous: The US Senate has passed a "Human Rights and Democracy Decree" on the protests in Hong Kong. In Beijing, that was not good at all.

The US President considers the topic remarkably overcast. But at least the United States Parliament is sending a clear signal to the demonstrators in Hong Kong. According to the US House of Representatives, the Senate has also passed bills in support of the local democracy movement.

The Senators unanimously passed a "Human Rights and Democracy Decree" on Tuesday evening (local time). Among other things, it provides for President Donald Trump to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for serious human rights violations in Hong Kong. The Senate also unanimously passed a bill banning the export of tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons and handcuffs to the Hong Kong police, among others.

Already last month, the US House of Representatives passed a "Human Rights and Democracy Decree" on Hong Kong, which also provides for sanctions for human rights abuses. The adoption of the bill in the US House of Representatives triggered great tensions between China and the US. With the vote, they supported "the anti-Chinese troublemakers in Hong Kong," said the tenor.

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And even the current decision in the Senate met with little enthusiasm in Beijing. The government accused the US parliamentarians of "serious interference in internal affairs." Now you will take the necessary steps to ensure your own independence. However, the Foreign Ministry did not become more specific in its first reaction. Most recently, China once again publicly emphasized how much it insists on its decision-making power over Hong Kong's constitution.

Regular reports are to be created

The Senate's "Human Rights and Democracy Ordinance" 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. He is trying to reach an agreement with China in the trade war between the two countries.

Source: spiegel

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