Wednesday, President Trump signed a bill into law that expresses US support for Hong Kong protesters, a move that may strain relations with China and further complicate the president’s effort to wind down his trade war with Beijing.
The legislation, S. 1838, requires annual reviews of Hong Kong’s special trade status under American law and sanctions against any officials deemed responsible for human rights abuses or undermining the city’s autonomy.
The House cleared the bill 417-1 on 20 November after the Senate passed it without opposition, veto-proof majorities that left President Trump with not choice.
While many members of Congress in both parties have voiced strong support for protesters demanding more autonomy for the city, President Trump has stayed largely silent on the issue.
China’s foreign ministry had urged President Trump to prevent the legislation from becoming law, warning the Americans not to underestimate China’s determination to defend its “sovereignty, security and development interests.”
“If the US insists on going down this wrong path, China will take strong countermeasures,” ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a briefing Thursday in Beijing. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang summoned the US Ambassador, Terry Branstad, Monday to express “strong opposition” to what the country’s government considers American interference in the protests, including the legislation, according to statement.
Have a terrific Thanksgiving Holiday weekend.