The US Senate has initiated an expedited “hotline” process to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and may pass the bill as early as Monday, according to Senator Marco Rubio.
Rubio – a sponsor of the bill – announced on Twitter that the fast-track process would allow for quick passage unless there is an objection.
He added that the bill, which calls for sanctions to be made against individuals deemed to have undermined Hong Kong’s high level of autonomy, can be passed as early as this coming Monday.
Earlier in the day, the Republican Senator of Florida called for the immediate passage of the legislation, saying “the world witnesses the people of Hong Kong standing up every day to defend their long-cherished freedoms against an increasingly aggressive Beijing and Hong Kong government”.
“Now more than ever, the United States must send a clear message to Beijing that the free world stands with Hongkongers in their struggle”, he added.
Rubio’s comments come as President Xi Jinping warned of any “foreign interference” in Hong Kong affairs, saying Beijing will continue to extend its “unwavering support” to the SAR government and police force in stamping out violence in the city.
And on Thursday evening, an influential congressional commission had said that if Beijing sends the military to quell protests in Hong Kong, US lawmakers should pass legislation to withdraw special trade privileges granted to Hong Kong.
The United States-China Economic and Security Review Commission said the provisions of the 1992 US-Hong Kong Policy Act should immediately cease to apply if the People's Liberation Army or the People's Armed Police are deployed in the SAR as the high autonomy of the city would be jeopardised.
'US Senate may pass HK democracy bill by Monday'
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