WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Pressure in the US Congress for legislation to support pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and push China to refrain from a violent crackdown in front of a range of obstacles, and questions about the law will ever be drawn .
FOCUS GROUP: Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), questions about US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during a hearing from the Senate Adverse Relations Committee on a State Department budget request in Washington, US. April 10, 2019. REUTERS / Erin Scott / File Photo
The fate of the legislation could depend in part on whether legalists representing states that have invested heavily in the Chinese market can overcome concerns about Beijing's revenge against US businesses.
The cloudy prospect of a careful response to Hong Kong by the Trump administration at a crucial point for US-Chinese trade talks and uncertainty as to whether peer leaders will prioritize the issue on a crowded agenda at the end of the year.
The House of Representatives ran their unanimous human rights legislation in Hong Kong in mid-October, including a bill that would put the United States more intensive treatment on Hong Kong under tighter scrutiny, drawing allegations from Beijing that “A real secret to the law-makers.”
A similar committee approved a similar measure in September, but it is not scheduled for voting by the full body, which is required before the legislation can be sent to President Donald Trump. The White House did not yet indicate whether it would sign it or veto it.
Even as Hong Kong activists put their hearts into a stronger action of the United States, which they consider to be vital for movement that drew millions on the streets, the issue is still high in Washington.
The delay in the bill – in the context of increasingly dangerous and dangerous circumstances between protesters and police – was a source of frustration for lawmakers who strongly support the legislation across party lines.
“Your opinion is also about why this support is broad, bipartisan – and an issue that is urgently needed – that has not been achieved by the US Senate,” the Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a great hawk leading from China and chief executive of the bill told Reuters.
TEAM TAKES NUMBER OF HONG KONG
The war is a bitter trade between the two largest economies in the world than the Hong Kong crisis. Trump has said that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will sign a “Step One” trade agreement, a key priority of its administration with Beijing.
At a meeting of the 11th October in the Oval Office, Trump said to Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu that he would keep quiet on Hong Kong's protests while trade was progressing, according to two people informed of the debates.
The White House did not answer a question as to whether Trump made such an undertaking or whether the administration had concerns that a state of Hong Kong trade talks could make it more complex.
While Trump has since launched China over Hong Kong criticism, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have spoken against Beijing's human rights record in Hong Kong and elsewhere, including how Uighur Muslims deal in Xinjiang.
The legislation reflects a more difficult attitude among some Trump fellow Republicans and many of the Progressive Democrats on what they see as the escalation of Beijing to Hong Kong.
Protesters are campaigning against what they think the liberties promised under the “one country with two systems” formula were when Britain returned Hong Kong to Chinese rule in 1997. t China refuses to do so, and blamed Western countries for trouble.
The US bills would amend the existing law to require annual certification by the Department of State that Hong Kong would remain quite autonomous from Beijing for the unique treatment by Washington which helped to protect development to a major financial center.
China has threatened unspecified countermeasures, calling on the American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong to warn of the “counterproductive consequences” of the legislation that US businesses could hurt.
This has resulted in some Senators, particularly those in agricultural states or major firms relying on China, preferring a slow approach and working behind the scenes. to prevent legislation.
Mark Simon, executive of Next Media, is a media group funded by Jimmy Lai, a pro-democracy businessman, about the near-term prospects of the Seanad bill following a recent round of meetings with members of Congress in Washington.
Simon expressed his concern that as many as nine senators may have objections to the bill – although none of these have made public. “The Senate is U.S., by refusing to stand up for Hong Kong, editing our political process to sell some grain, pork and airplane,” he told Reuters.
Rubio said that he had not heard objections from the other Senators, but noted that he could “be involved in some way in the wider trading issues and fear that he might disclose this.” T
ACH FOREIGN BLACK MAKING;
Despite the fact that the activists were hitting the action of the United States, some experts say it could be counter-productive.
Steve Tsang, director of the Chinese Institute at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London, said the legislation would “go into Beijing's hands by claiming it as evidence of a foreign black hand; the protests were behind in Hong Kong. ”
Bills like the current legislation have been introduced and have gone anywhere in the last three Conferences, but the long crisis in Hong Kong helped the measures go further than before.
The White House did not respond to requests for comments. But a US official who was speaking on an anonymity condition said the administration was happy to run the course.
It is unclear whether Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Wizard, will vote on a bill during a schedule already secured in the final weeks of the 2019 session, including the threat of federal government shutdown and severe events against Trump.
One way to go around these obstacles, to say that conference aides, is to connect Hong Kong legislation to a wider Senate bill on defense or budget.
Additional reporting by Heather Timmons, Diane Bartz and David Shepardson; Edited by Mary Milliken and Dan Grebler
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