Senate approves China’s sanctions bill after White House relents

“They were able to reach an agreement with the Treasury, so the White House apparently did not object,” Hawley said in a brief interview after his resolution, and the sanctions bill was unanimously adopted.

According to an assistant, Van Hollen and Toomey slightly modified their bill after the White House proposed their changes, which were minor and did not appear to weaken the legislation.

Representatives Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) And Ted Yoho (R-Fla.) Have introduced a supplemental bill in the House.

The breakthrough came as lawmakers from both parties pressured President Donald Trump to respond more aggressively to a series of actions taken by China in recent months, from his handling of the coronavirus pandemic to alleged human rights abuses. against religious minorities in the Xinjiang region of the country. .

“It starts with Hong Kong, but we know what Beijing wants to do. They want to impose their will on the entire Asia-Pacific region, “Hawley said, adding that he has directly told the president that the United States should use” all the tools at our disposal to send a message “to China.

Despite Thursday’s agreement, there is no guarantee that the sanctions will be fully implemented. The Trump administration has refused to implement several mandatory sanctions over the years, including those targeting Russia for its interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Last week, Trump signed a bill requiring his administration to name possible sanctions targets for the continued detention of Uyghur Muslims from China, a religious minority; But in an attached signing statement, the president said he would treat a key provision as “advisory and non-binding.”

Trump also acknowledged in an interview last week that he initially refused to implement certain sanctions against China for his detention of Uighurs, in order to salvage his trade deal with the country, a move that could boost his reelection offer.