Senate approves new sanctions to punish China for Hong Kong

One of the bills, the Hong Kong Autonomy Law, would impose sanctions on companies and individuals that help China restrict Hong Kong’s autonomy. That bill was drafted by Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Democratic Senator Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

“What the Chinese government is doing in Hong Kong is unacceptable,” said Van Hollen on the floor. “They are taking away the rights of people in Hong Kong. They are taking away the freedoms that exist there right now.”

A second measure by Republican Missouri Senator Josh Hawley is a resolution condemning China for violating a 1984 agreement to guarantee the autonomy of Honk Kong.

Hawley said a new national security law that China is adopting “would deal a severe blow to the freedoms and liberties that Hong Kongers has enjoyed for decades. It is a permanent break from the one-country principle, two systems that have governed that city since 1997 “.

The measures, which were combined into a single bill before being passed, still need to be passed in the House before going to President Donald Trump’s desk.

Van Hollen said he expects Trump to sign the bill, but also expressed concern that the White House may have already imposed sanctions under current law and that “despite some statements by the secretary of state, this administration is not yet taking steps “to reject China in Hong.