Date: NoveMber 27, 2019
By: Andrew O'Reilly
President Trump on Wednesday signed two bills meant to support human rights and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, drawing a furious response from Beijing's foreign ministry.
The bills were signed as Hong Kong continues to be gripped by turmoil amid widespread discontent over Chinese rule in the special administrative region. Chinese officials had hoped Trump would veto the bill and the president had expressed some concerns about complicating the effort to work out a trade deal with China's President Xi Jinping.
"Look, we have to stand with Hong Kong," Trump said in an interview on "Fox & Friends" last week, later adding: "But I'm also standing with President Xi. He's a friend of mine. He's an incredible guy."
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the favorable trade status that Washington grants Hong Kong. The second bill prohibits export to Hong Kong police of certain nonlethal munitions, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, water cannons, stun guns and tasers.
"The act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong, and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong,” Trump said in a statement. [FULL STORY]