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Senate Passes Bill To Support Hong Kong Protestors

Neer Varshney

The U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a bill to support the cause of Hong Kong protestors against China’s interference in the semi-autonomous city.

What The Senate Passed

The bill will require the U.S. Secretary of State to certify every year that Hong Kong retains sufficient autonomy from Beijing to warrant its special trade status, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The bill also calls for the president to place sanctions on individuals who have suppressed human rights in the city. 

A second bill passed by the Senate bans the sale of certain crowd-control munitions to the Hong Kong police, including tear gas and pepper spray.

Why It Matters For Hong Kong

A similar bill was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in October, WSJ reported at the time.

Both bills are aimed at supporting improved human rights in Hong Kong but differ in some key aspects, such as on what sanctions to impose on the human rights violators.

The two legislative bodies will have to agree on a common bill before it can be put on President Trump’s table for signing, according to Bloomberg.

Beijing has been very critical of any U.S. attempt to interject in Hong Kong, as Bloomberg noted, and the bill could complicate the negotiations over the trade deal further.

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