News

U.S.

Senators to Introduce Bill Sanctioning Chinese Officials over New Hong Kong ‘Security’ Law

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) announces a bipartisan agreement during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., October 17, 2019. (Erin Scott/Reuters)

Senators from both parties will introduce legislation to sanction Chinese officials and entities over a suite of new national-security laws that threaten Hong Kong’s independence from mainland China.

Senators Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Chris Van Hollen (D., Md.), who co-sponsored the legislation, told the Wall Street Journal they had been drafting a more general bill aimed at defending the autonomy of Hong Kong, but that the imposition of new laws from China’s government made the issue more pressing. China intends to use the new legislation to suppress Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests, which have been mostly subsided since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We would impose penalties on individuals who are complicit in China’s illegal crackdown in Hong Kong,” Van Hollen told the Journal. Banks that do business with Chinese entities involved in the crackdown would also be penalized.

Hong Kong was a British protectorate for most of the 20th century. It was incorporated into China in 1997 under the “one country, two systems” arrangement, which allowed for a measure of autonomy and significantly more freedoms for the city’s residents. In 2019, China attempted to enshrine a law that would allow for extradition of suspected criminals to the Chinese mainland — a provision that many Hong Kong residents believed infringed upon the city’s autonomy.

Pro-democracy protests, many of which turned violent, brought the city to a standstill for much of the year, and in November a pro-democracy majority defeated supporters of Beijing in the Hong Kong parliamentary elections for the first time.

China’s new national-security laws are “a complete and total surprise and I think it means the end of one country, two systems,” pro-democracy Hong Kong lawmaker Dennis Kwok told the Washington Post on Thursday. “This is the most devastating thing to happen to Hong Kong since the handover.”

Send a tip to the news team at NR.

Zachary Evans is a news writer for National Review Online. He is a veteran of the Israeli Defense Forces and a trained violist.

Most Popular

Elections

Wait, Joe Biden Picked That Kamala Harris?

Kamala Harris? Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris? Out of all of Biden's options, he chose the rival whose presidential campaign is best remembered for her attack on him, contending he opposed busing? The rival who said the way he described his relationship with old segregationists was “hurtful”! The woman ... Read More
Elections

Wait, Joe Biden Picked That Kamala Harris?

Kamala Harris? Joe Biden picked Kamala Harris? Out of all of Biden's options, he chose the rival whose presidential campaign is best remembered for her attack on him, contending he opposed busing? The rival who said the way he described his relationship with old segregationists was “hurtful”! The woman ... Read More
U.S.

Bloc Heads

Welcome to The Tuesday, a cheery little weekly newsletter about the existential despair Irving Kristol indicated when he noted that Western civilization is collapsing “but it’ll take a long time, and, meanwhile, it’s still possible to live well.” The Bloc Party Right-leaning writers hawking books about ... Read More
U.S.

Bloc Heads

Welcome to The Tuesday, a cheery little weekly newsletter about the existential despair Irving Kristol indicated when he noted that Western civilization is collapsing “but it’ll take a long time, and, meanwhile, it’s still possible to live well.” The Bloc Party Right-leaning writers hawking books about ... Read More
Elections

Biden Plays the Catholic Card

In a speech in Ohio last week, President Trump remarked that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden aims to “take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment,” adding: “No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God, he’s against guns.” Biden took umbrage at this rather ... Read More
Elections

Biden Plays the Catholic Card

In a speech in Ohio last week, President Trump remarked that presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden aims to “take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment,” adding: “No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible, hurt God. He’s against God, he’s against guns.” Biden took umbrage at this rather ... Read More