Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senators Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) issued the following statements on their bipartisan Hong Kong Autonomy Act being signed into law:
"The national security law imposed by the Chinese communist government has one purpose: to crush the autonomy and basic rights of the people of Hong Kong," said Senator Toomey. "This overt act of authoritarianism requires a decisive American response, which the Hong Kong Autonomy Act provides. These new, mandatory, and punishing sanctions on those who undermine Hong Kong's autonomy shows the communists in Beijing, and the world, that America stands with Hong Kong. I appreciate Senator Van Hollen's continuing partnership on this issue. The fight is not over until the Chinese government backtracks and honors its commitments under the Basic Law and Joint Declaration."
"Today, the United States made clear to China that it cannot continue its assault on freedom and human rights in Hong Kong without severe repercussions. The Chinese government's aggression merits this swift rebuke. I appreciate Senator Toomey's partnership on this effort. Now that the President has signed our Hong Kong Autonomy Act into law, he must impose the sanctions included in our bill. That is the only way to ensure that those involved in the crackdown on Hong Kong will feel the full consequences of their actions," said Senator Van Hollen.
The Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which was introduced in response to increasingly brazen interference of the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong, would impose mandatory sanctions on entities that violate China's obligations to Hong Kong under the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law. The legislation would also impose mandatory secondary sanctions on banks that do business with the entities in violation of the Basic Law.
The Hong Kong Autonomy Act was approved by the House on July 1st and the Senate on July 2nd.