US Congress passes Hong Kong human rights bill

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The US House of Representatives on Wednesday (local time) passed a pair of bills related to Hong Kong, a move that is likely to deteriorate already strained ties between US and China.

Al Jazeera reported that House voted 417 to one for the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act”, which the Senate has already passed on Tuesday.

The Bills will now go to White House for US President Donald Trump to sign or veto.

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This comes after Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu on Wednesday summoned William Klein, acting charge d’affaires of the U.S. Embassy in China, to lodge “stern representations and strong protest” against U.S. Senate’s passing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, Xinhua reported.

“We strongly urge the U.S. side to immediately take effective measures to prevent this act from becoming law, immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs. Otherwise, China will have to take strong countermeasures and the U.S. side must face all the consequences,” Xinhua quoted Ma as saying.

If signed into law, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act will demand sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials identified by the US government as carrying out alleged human rights abuses.

Large-scale protests, triggered by a now-withdrawn controversial extradition bill, have been ongoing in Hong Kong since early June, with the police detaining nearly 4,500 people so far.


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