Amid intensifying violence between protesters and the Hong Kong violence, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) urged President Donald Trump to speak out on behalf of the protesters in Hong Kong.

Speaking on the Senate floor on Monday, Nov. 18, McConnell stressed that given the fact that President Trump has clearly seen through the nature of the Chinese government, he should not “shy away from speaking out on Hong Kong himself.”

McConnell said that the U.S.-China bilateral trade agreement should address Hong Kong ‘s autonomy as a key topic rather than solely trade.

He also emphasized that the president voice his support for the protesters, saying, “The world should hear from him directly that the United States stands with these brave women and men.”

On the same day, talking to reporters in Washington, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo indicated the United States is “gravely concerned by the deepening political unrest and violence in HongKong, including the standoff between protesters and Hong Kong police in Hong Kong Poly University and other campuses.”

He called on all parties to restrain but stressed that the Hong Kong government should be held accountable for bringing peace to Hong Kong and law enforcement is not a sole solution for the tense situation. He proposed Hong Kong leader resort to “an independent investigation into the protest-related incidents.” 

Pompeo repeatedly underlined an earlier White House statement calling on Beijing to “honor its commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and to protect Hong Kong’s freedom, legal system, and democratic way of life.”

Meanwhile, the Senate is working on the prompt ratification of Hong Kong rights bill, under which the secretary of state will be required to certify at least once a year that Hong Kong still retains enough autonomy to warrant the special U.S. trading consideration that bolsters its status as a world financial center. It would also impose sanctions on officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong as well.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also took to Twitter today to condemn the attack of Hong Kong police against the students.