US Congress Passes China Sanctions Bill Over Hong Kong

US Congress Passes China Sanctions Bill Over Hong Kong

July 3, 2020, 7:23 a.m.

The US Congress has passed a bill to impose sanctions on Chinese officials involved in efforts to undermine Hong Kong's autonomy.

The Senate unanimously approved the Hong Kong Autonomy Act on Thursday. The legislation had passed the House of Representatives the previous day.

The bill targets Chinese officials involved in restricting Hong Kong's autonomy. Financial institutions that do business with these people would also face sanctions, including asset freezes and a ban on transactions with US banks.

The bill becomes law once it is signed by President Donald Trump.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who co-sponsored the bill, warned that China is a threat to the US as it tries to impose its influence on Hong Kong and the world.

Toomey said the legislation sends a message that "the United States and the free world are no longer willing to look past some of the worst behavior that's been occurring." He added that "our patience has run out."

At a news conference on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian criticized the US move, urging Trump not to sign the bill. He warned that China "will react strongly and the US shall bear all consequences."

Source: NHK

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