U.S. House Approves Bills Supporting Hong Kong Protests

A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry criticized U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday for their foreign interference.
Posted at 7:37 AM, Oct 16, 2019

China is threatening to retaliate after lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives approved a series of measures supporting anti-government demonstrators in Hong Kong. 

Lawmakers passed all three bills unanimously with a voice vote. The main bill is the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. It would require Washington to assess Hong Kong's status as a U.S. trading partner each year, as well as impose sanctions and other penalties against those who are undermining the city's autonomy.

"In Congress, Democrats and Republicans in the House and in the Senate stand united with the people of Hong Kong. If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, then we lose all moral authority to speak out for human rights any place in the world," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a speech on the House floor.

But a spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry criticized U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday for their foreign interference. He warned China would take countermeasures to "defend its sovereignty, security and development interests."

The other bills passed by the House include a resolution to stop the export of U.S.-made crowd-control products to Hong Kong, such as rubber bullets and tear gas. The third measure says the U.S. supports the protesters and condemns China for interfering in the semi-autonomous region. 

The three bills now head to the Senate. Though an aide told CNN lawmakers in the upper-chamber will likely pass their own version of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. It's unclear when the Senate will vote. 

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN