Bills supporting Hong Kong human rights tabled before President Trump

This appeared in The Millennial Source

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On November 21, the United States Senate approved two bills intended to back human rights in Hong Kong. If signed by President Trump, the “ Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019” and the “ Placing Restrictions on Teargas Exports and Crowd Control Technology to Hong Kong Act” would restrict the exportation of teargas and crowd control technology to Hong Kong authorities. They would also extend annual reporting on Hong Kong to include assessments of its autonomy.

“The people of #HongKong deserve a future that sees their rights respected,” tweeted United States House of Representatives speaker, Nancy Pelosi. “It is critical that the President quickly enact this legislation in the face of Beijing’s crackdown. Many thanks to @RepMcGovern & @RepChrisSmith for leading the bipartisan effort to pass this legislation.”

The passing of the bills follows months of protests and unrest in Hong Kong. Encounters between Hong Kong police and pro-democracy protesters have often ended in violence — including the shooting of protesters by police and the burning of a man by protesters.

Hong Kong’s response

In stronger words, state-sponsored Global Times said the act should really be named the “Support Hong Kong Violence Act.” The publication criticized the bill for overtly taking sides with rioters that are “destroying the rule of law in Hong Kong.”

The road ahead

Tensions between the United States and China have been high as the two countries work to negotiate a trade deal, and it is unclear as to how the signing of the bills would affect these negotiations. “We also are in the process of making the largest trade deal in history,” said President Trump in the same Fox and Friends call. “And if we could do that, that would be great. China wants it. We want it.”

President Trump went on to say that, “If it weren’t for me, thousands of people would have been killed in Hong Kong right now, and you wouldn’t have any riots. You’d have a police state. The only reason he’s not going in is because I’m saying it will affect our trade deal.”

It is also important to note that if the president chooses to veto the bills, Congress could still override it.

Background on the Hong Kong Protests

Protesters have outlined five demands that include: full withdrawal of the extradition bill, an independent commission of inquiry into alleged police brutality, retracting the classification of protesters as ‘rioters,’ amnesty for arrested protesters, and dual universal suffrage (meaning for both the Legislative Council and the Chief Executive).

Violence and protests

The Hong Kong government has insinuated that the alleged, violent conduct of their officers is malicious rumor. They also said that all police officers are required to justify their conduct.

“Online rumors stated that Police management have [sic] ordered frontline officers to recklessly use their firearms in today’s operations,” said Hong Kong’s government in a statement released after the shooting on November 11. “Police clarifies that this allegation is totally false and malicious. Police has [sic] strict guidelines and orders regarding the use of firearms. All Police officers are required to justify their enforcement actions.”

Protesters have also allegedly engaged in acts of violence. In one video, a pro-democracy protester can be seen lighting a man on fire after an argument.

The following content has been identified by the YouTube community as inappropriate or offensive to some audiences.

The government has also accused protesters of rioting, throwing petrol bombs, assaulting officers, and vandalism.

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