President Donald Trump signed bills drafted and passed in both houses of Congress to support Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. Trump signed the two laws despite loud objections from official Beijing, with which Washington has long been negotiating to end the trade war.
The bill passed unanimously in the Senate and almost unanimously (with one vote against) in the House of Representatives last week, requires the State Department to confirm at least once a year that Hong Kong has sufficient autonomy to extend US trade privileges. Now Hong Kong uses them, being one of the world’s financial centers. The law, signed by Trump, also provides for sanctions for human rights violations in Hong Kong.
Donald Trump also signed another bill approved by Congress: it prohibits the export to Hong Kong of means to disperse demonstrations – such as tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun guns.
“I signed these bills out of respect for President XI [Jinping] and the people of Hong Kong. They are adopted in the hope that the leaders and legislators of China and Hong Kong will be able to peacefully resolve differences, leading to long-term peace and prosperity for all,” the US President said in a statement.
The Chinese authorities called the ratification of the bills “gross interference” in the internal affairs of China and “violation of international law.”