What is the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act?
On Tuesday November 19th, 2019 the US Senate on Tuesday unanimously passed a bill meant to protect human rights in Hong Kong.
Following the voice vote by senators, the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” now goes to the House of Representative. Beijing is likely to view this as interference significant enough to stroll phase one of the trade agreement.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is trending on Twitter now.
From what I understand, The legislation, known as the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, would essentially require the State Department to ensure that the city’s “one county, two systems” agreement with China be upheld each year for the US government to continue to afford Hong Kong with special trade status.
The bill’s passage comes with protests in Hong Kong ongoing after six months and appearing to become more violent and lethal.
#HongKong we hear you.
We continue to stand with you.
Tonight, the Senate ✔passed my #HongKongHumanRightsandDemocracyAct pic.twitter.com/ldUmjYk7yK
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) November 19, 2019
The situation of Hong Kong now is a propaganda battle between the world’s two super powers and could decide the fate of places like Taiwan as well. The act was introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-Florida), Ben Cardin (D-Maryland) and Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and was passed unanimously.
The situation in terms of a trade-war between China and the United States is by most analysts expected to last not just several more years, but decades. Meanwhile Hong Kong’s student riots have escalated into a full blow pro-democracy campaign. With this Bill the U.S. are more clearly getting involved with legislature that will have consequences.
Yesterday’s passage of the #HongKong Human Rights & Democracy Act was a good day in the struggle to resist totalitarian #China & its bid for domination. But it was not the last day. We have a long road ahead to protect our jobs, our workers & our security. pic.twitter.com/10xiIKS5fW
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 20, 2019
The two chambers will have to work out their differences before any legislation can be sent to President Donald Trump for his consideration.
The “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” interferes in China’s domestic affairs, said foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, according to an online statement in Chinese.
As “rule of law” tips in Hong Kong in the favour of Beijing, the freedoms of democracy and its future in parts of Asia such as Hong Kong and Taiwan appear in serious jeopardy. Students are braver in Hong Kong than China likely believed possible.
#HongKong police trapping hundreds of students inside #PolyUniversity. Won’t let them leave. Apparently want mass arrests. These actions by Beijing-backed govt raise question whether #China is in violation of its 1984 Joint Declaration commitments https://t.co/tc7akTgyZK
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) November 18, 2019
Recent events in Hong Kong show not just a city under siege by riot police and protesters, but the crossroads of China’s increasing influence and the future of democracy that represents a significant clash of values. Humanity never fails to evolve totalitarian fascist regimes every few decades, but a New China poses an interesting element to the use of technology itself for good or being weaponized in a surveillance state approach to human rights.
It’s cuber-punk days for the students of Hong Kong, but they are also under increasing danger from riot police and anti-protester elements.
TIME IS RUNNING OUT. #SOSHK Listen to urgent cry of protestors in #PolyU! Running out of food & medical supply, starving & injured protestors counting down to confront #hkpolice bullets with bare hands. Is the world going to witness bloody crackdown w/o stopping ruthless regime? pic.twitter.com/szkxxICLDF
— Joshua Wong 黃之鋒 😷 (@joshuawongcf) November 18, 2019
Under the first Senate bill, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo would have to certify at least once a year that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to qualify for special U.S. trading consideration that bolsters its status as a world financial center.
Hong Kong’s government appears to be little more than pawns of China at this point. “The ‘Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act’ and the other act on Hong Kong are unnecessary and unwarranted according to them.
- The bill mandates that the president impose sanctions against people found to be violating human rights in Hong Kong.
- It would also require the State Department to give Congress annual reports assessing whether China has encroached on Hong Kong’s autonomy or clamped down on civil liberties.
- It’s not clear if Trump will support the Bill considering its potential impact on his trade negotiations which are seen as important for his chances in the 2020 Presidential elections.In an era when companies and smaller countries are increasingly scared of standing up to Beijing, it seems a bunch of Hong Kong students have to do what we cannot do and put themselves in danger to lethal harm in doing so.
The U.S. Senate has now joined the House of Representatives in passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The people of #HongKong have woken up to the news that both branches of the U.S. Congress stand with you in your fight for democracy and the rule of law.
— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) November 20, 2019
Do you think the Bill will have a constructive impact on the situation?