On November 27th, US President Donald Trump signed both Hong Kong bills into law, supporting “human rights” and the rioters of Hong Kong.
The two bills are as follows:
- 1838 “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019”
“This bill directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong’s unique treatment under U.S. law. (Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.).
The Department of State shall report annually to Congress as to whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous from China to justify its unique treatment. The report shall address issues including (1) civil liberties in Hong Kong, and (2) how any erosion to Hong Kong’s autonomy impacts areas of U.S.-Hong Kong cooperation.”
Essentially, the bill requires Hong Kong to have a certain level of autonomy from Beijing, otherwise it’s special treatment from the US in terms of trade, etc. would be withheld.
- 2710 “A bill to prohibit the commercial export of covered munitions items to the Hong Kong Police Force”
“This bill directs the President to prohibit the issuance of licenses to export specified munitions items to the Hong Kong Police Force and the Hong Kong Auxiliary Police Force. The specified items include tear gas, rubber bullets, and handcuffs. The President may make an exception upon certifying to Congress as to how such exports are important to U.S. national interests and foreign policy goals. This prohibition shall expire one year after the bill’s enactment.”
No mention is made of the thousands of petrol bombs thrown at the authorities, the torched businesses and even the attempts to set pro-Beijing individuals on fire.
A separate statement by Trump said that the decision to sign them was made “out of respect” for Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong. They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all,” the statement read.
On November 19th, US Congress passed the bills, and initially Trump said that he would potentially veto them, but evidently decided against doing so.
“We have to stand with Hong Kong, but I’m also standing with President Xi,” Trump said. “He’s a friend of mine.”
Trump said in the interview that his relationship with China’s president has prevented Xi Jinping from taking a harder line against the Hong Kong protests.
“He’s got a million soldiers standing outside of Hong Kong that aren’t going in only because I asked him, ‘Please don’t do that. You’ll be making a big mistake.’ ” Trump said. “It’s going to have a tremendous negative impact on the trade deal, and he wants to make a trade deal.”
Trump was primarily concerned with how the bill would impede a potential deal in the US-China Trade War.
China’s response to Trump signing the bills into law was, expectedly, not positive. The Foreign Ministry issued a statement on November 28th, promising “firm countermeasures.”
Shortly after the bill was signed into law, China’s Foreign Ministry accused the US of “bullying behavior,” “disregarding the facts” and “publicly supporting violent criminals.”
“We urge the United States not to insist on going down this path, or China would firmly strike back and the United States would have to bear all consequences,” the statement read. The Chinese government also summoned the US envoy to China, Ambassador Terry Branstad, to “lodge solemn representation and strong protest” over the measure.
It, more or less, repeated the statement by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang from November 19th who said that the Hong Kong bill was a blatant meddling in China’s internal affairs.
“Over the past five months or so, radical, violent and criminal practices have severely threatened people’s safety and property, disrupted rule of law and social order, undermined prosperity and stability in Hong Kong and challenged the bottom line of “one country, two systems”. The issue Hong Kong faces is not about human rights or democracy, but about stopping violence and chaos, upholding rule of law and restoring order as soon as possible. The central government will continue to firmly support the SAR government in lawfully administering Hong Kong, support the police in enforcing law, and support the judicial organs in punishing violent criminals, protecting the life and property of citizens and safeguarding prosperity and stability in Hong Kong.”
Geng Shuang urged the US to “stop making the wrong decisions” when it comes to Hong Kong.
“The US should immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs, or the negative consequences will boomerang on itself. China will have to take strong countermeasures to defend our national sovereignty, security and development interests if the US insists on making the wrong decisions.”
Trump signing the bills into law was quite positively regarded by the “peaceful pro-democracy protesters” in Hong Kong, with a celebration on the streets.
Thank you for all those in the U.S. Congress who have worked so hard to push the #HKHRDA in the past five years. Thank you for standing with our ppl.
This would not have been possible without the determination and sacrifices of brave Hongkongers.#StandwithHK
— Denise Ho (HOCC) (@hoccgoomusic) November 28, 2019
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- “Pan-Democrats” Win At “Free and Fair” Hong Kong Elections
- U.S. Opens Up Another Front In Cold War Against China As Congress Passes Hong Kong Democracy Act
- Chaos In Hong Kong: Nearly 4,000 Petrol Bombs Discovered By Police And 1,100 Arrested As PolyU Siege Nears End