However, the two chambers must sort out their differences before any legislation moves to President Donald Trump for consideration.
The Senate bill also lays out a process for the U.S. president to impose sanctions and travel restrictions to those responsible for threatening or implementing arbitrary detention, torture, forced confession of any individual in Hong Kong, according to CNN.
Additionally, it grants the U.S. president the power to impose sanctions on those who violate the 1997 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which sets the terms of the city’s autonomy following its handover from the United Kingdom.
The Senate also unanimously passed a second bill called the “Protect Hong Kong Act,” which would ban the export of certain non-lethal crowd-control munitions to Hong Kong police.
These items include tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and stun guns, according to Reuters.
Following the passage of the bill, China reportedly summoned William Klein, a senior U.S. diplomat, to issue a warning that they would retaliate if Trump signs the bill.
“We call on the US side to take a clear look at the situation and take steps to stop the act from becoming a law, and stop meddling in the internal affairs of China and Hong Kong, to avoid setting a fire that would only burn itself,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement.
The spokesman added, “If the U.S. sticks to its course, China will surely take forceful measures to resolutely oppose it to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.”
The bill’s passage, along with China’s retaliatory statement, hit Hong Kong stocks as of Wednesday, with the Hang Seng Index losing as much as 1.1% after surging 2.9% in two days, Bloomberg noted.
Feature Image via Getty
Support our Journalism with a Contribution
Many people might not know this, but despite our large and loyal following which we are immensely grateful for, NextShark is still a small bootstrapped startup that runs on no outside funding or loans.
Everything you see today is built on the backs of warriors who have sacrificed opportunities to help give Asians all over the world a bigger voice.
However, we still face many trials and tribulations in our industry, from figuring out the most sustainable business model for independent media companies to facing the current COVID-19 pandemic decimating advertising revenues across the board.
We hope you consider making a contribution so we can continue to provide you with quality content that informs, educates and inspires the Asian community.
Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for everyone’s support. We love you all and can’t appreciate you guys enough.