Connect with us
Hong Kong protests flare anew after demands remain unmet.

Federal

Marco Rubio lauds Donald Trump signage of Hong Kong human rights act

The State Department to assess civil liberties and autonomy in the Chinese territory each year.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio joined a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers praising President Donald Trump for signing a bill in response to anti-extradition protests in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (SB 1838) requires the State Department to assess civil liberties and autonomy in the Chinese territory each year. It also requires the president to develop a strategy to protect U.S. citizens and businesses in the city if he or she deems U.S. citizens are at risk.

“Earlier this month, in an overwhelming display of bipartisan unity, Congress passed our Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, and I applaud President Trump for signing this critical legislation into law,” Rubio said in a statement. “The U.S. now has new and meaningful tools to deter further influence and interference from Beijing into Hong Kong’s internal affairs.”

U.S. Sens. Jim Risch, an Indiana Republican; Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat; and Ben Cardin, a Maryland Democrat; joined Rubio in praising the president. All four serve on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee — Risch as the Chairman and Menendez as the ranking Democrat.

The Florida Republican introduced the legislation in June, three days after an estimated 1 million people in Hong Kong marched against a proposed extradition bill.

Both the Senate and the House passed SB 1838 last week, the Senate unanimously and the House 417-1.

On Tuesday, the Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, warned against foreign intervention in Hong Kong. On Sunday, pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong won nearly 90% of council seats, a blow to the territory’s Chinese-backed administration.

“Following last weekend’s historic elections in Hong Kong that included record turnout, this new law could not be more timely in showing strong U.S. support for Hong Kongers’ long-cherished freedoms,” Rubio said. “I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to implement this law.”

The new law also prevents the State Department from denying work or student visas for Hong Kong residents solely for politically motivated punishment against the applicant from the city’s administration.

“The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is an important step forward in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and its repression of fundamental human rights,” Risch said.

At least two protesters have been killed and more than 2,600 have been injured in Hong Kong. More than 4,400 people have been arrested.

“With the world standing witness to history as the people of Hong Kong risk it all in pursuit of their legitimate aspirations for autonomy and against the erosion of democracy, I am incredibly proud to support the people of Hong Kong with the tools in this powerful new law,” Menendez said.

Written By

Renzo Downey covers the Florida Legislature for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at renzo@floridapolitics.com and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.

Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
Email: Peter@FloridaPolitics.com
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Connect
Sign up for Sunburn

Receive our team's agenda-setting morning read of what's hot in Florida politics. Delivered straight to your inbox Monday through Friday.