President Donald Trump on Wednesday, Nov. 27 signed legislation in support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, despite the opposition from Chinese Communist Party.
The White House made the announcement that Trump had signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act one week after it passed the House and Senate with veto-proof majorities.
“I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong,” Trump said. “They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.”
“The Act reaffirms and amends the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, specifies United States policy towards Hong Kong, and directs assessment of the political developments in Hong Kong,” Trump said in a statement.
The law allows U.S. officials to impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who are accused of committing human rights abuses in Hong Kong.
“Certain provisions of the Act would interfere with the exercise of the President’s constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States,” Trump added. “My Administration will treat each of the provisions of the Act consistently with the President’s constitutional authorities with respect to foreign relations.”
It would also require the State Department provide an annual report to lawmakers on whether Hong Kong remains “sufficiently autonomous” from China.
China on Nov. 21 demanded President Trump veto the legislation supporting human rights in Hong Kong and renewed a threat to take “strong countermeasures” if the bills become law.
“We urge the U.S. to grasp the situation, stop its wrongdoing before it’s too late, prevent this act from becoming law (and) immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a daily news briefing.
“If the U.S. continues to make the wrong moves, China will be taking strong countermeasures for sure,” Geng said.
President Trump has tried to balance the support to Hong Kong protests and the trade deal the United States has been negotiating with Beijing.
“I stand with Hong Kong. I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things that we want to do,” Trump told “Fox & Friends” last week.
“But we also are in the process of making the largest trade deal in history,” he continued. “And if we could do that, that would be great. China wants it. We want it. And I will say this. If it weren’t for me, thousands of people would have been killed in Hong Kong right now.”
President Trump also said that he had prevented Hong Kong protesters from becoming “obliterated” by Chinese troops, by asking Chinese leader Xi Jinping not to send troops into the autonomous region.
Besides, the president announced to the press that the first phase of the trade agreement with the leaders of the Chinese regime was about to close on Nov. 26.
“We’re in the final throes of a very important deal, I guess you could say one of the most important deals in trade ever,” the president said according to Reuters.
Amid the rising violence and attack on Hong Kong protesters for months, senators have voiced their strong support to pro-democracy protest and condemnation of the violent acts of Hong Kong police and China.
“Today’s vote sends a clear message that the United States will continue to stand with the people of Hong Kong as they battle Beijing’s imperialism. The Chinese Communist Party’s quest for power across the region is a direct threat to America’s security and prosperity,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.)