US Congress Approves Hong Kong Pro-Democracy Bills
Friday, 22 November 2019 10:50 WIB | GLOBAL |Global

The U.S. Congress approved two bills Thursday to support pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong after months of unrest in the semi-autonomous city.

The House overwhelmingly passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which requires an annual review of the favorable trade status the United States grants Hong Kong. The measure also authorizes U.S. sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses.

The second piece of legislation prohibits the export of certain non-lethal munitions to Hong Kong, including tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons.

The House passed both bills one day after the Senate approved them, sending them to the White House for President Donald Trump to sign into law.

For the past five months, protesters have taken to the streets of Hong Kong demanding more democracy and autonomy. The demonstrations have sometimes turned violent, stoking concerns that China will ratchet up its response to stop the civil disobedience.

China promised Hong Kong a "high degree of autonomy" for 50 years after it regained sovereignty over the city from Britain in 1997, but protesters contend that freedoms have since steadily eroded.

Source : VOA

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