US Cong passes bill for sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong security law
The legislation has been a top priority for some of the highest profile members of Congress, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi giving it her full endorsement Wednesday and praising its swift passage.Updated: Jul 02, 2020 23:55 IST
The US Senate gave final approval to legislation that would impose sanctions on Chinese officials cracking down on dissent in Hong Kong. The bill heads to President Donald Trump for his signature or veto.
The House and Senate moved quickly to enact the legislation after the Chinese government imposed a new national security law in the territory that critics say is aimed at squashing protests against the government and could lead to, in some cases, life imprisonment.
The legislation has been a top priority for some of the highest profile members of Congress, with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi giving it her full endorsement Wednesday and praising its swift passage.
Pelosi, in a statement Wednesday, called the legislation “an urgently needed response to the cowardly Chinese government’s passage of its so-called ‘national security’ law, which threatens the end of the ‘one country, two systems’ promised exactly 23 years ago today.”
The legislation was originally introduced in the Senate by Senator Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania Republican, and Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat. After the Senate passed it by voice vote last week, the bill was modified slightly in the House and had to be passed again by the Senate.
It provides for sanctions against financial institutions that are determined by the U.S. to be interfering in Hong Kong affairs. It requires the State Department to report to Congress every year about officials who seek to undermine the “one country, two systems” model that applies to Hong Kong. It gives the president the power to seize the assets of those individuals and block their entry to the U.S.