2019.11.20 US Senate Unanimously Passes the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act
At 6 PM EST, the United States Senate passed the Senate’s version of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act with unanimous consent, as well as the Protect Hong Kong Act which prohibits the export of non-lethal weapons to Hong Kong.
Demosistō which maintained close contact with congressmen who support the act explained that because the version passed in the Senate is different from the one previously passed in the House, the two chambers will have to discuss the differences between the two acts which will happen after Thanksgiving, after which the final, unified version will be submitted to Trump for signing. Demosistō states that their teams in the US and Hong Kong will continue to observe the situation, and will strive for quick coordination and discussion between the two chambers.
Because the two versions are slightly different, the act must first be voted on by the House before it receives Trump’s signature so that it can take effect officially.
The Hong Kong Government expressed “deep regret” towards the passing of Human Rights and Demoncracy Act as well as the Protect Hong Kong Act, claiming they are unnecessary, baseless and damaging to the mutual relationship between Hong Kong and the US. They further claimed that Hong Kong has been strictly following the Basic Law to establish “Hong Kong people ruling Hong Kong” and a “high degree of autonomy” since the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, and the special status of Hong Kong conferred by the Basic Law is not given unilaterally by any foreign country. They also claimed that such special status is universally respected and agreed on by international communities, and its financial status is also equivalent to other WTO members.