House passes bill in support of Hong Kong protestors

House passes bill in support of Hong Kong protestors
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The House on Wednesday overwhelmingly passed Senate-passed legislation showing support for protesters in Hong Kong.  

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act’s passage comes in the wake of weeks of negotiations as tensions have escalated with Hong Kong.

The lower chamber passed multiple bipartisan bills in support of pro-democracy demonstrators in Hong Kong in October.  

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The final measure, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent on Tuesday, aims to place sanctions on individuals who have committed human rights violations in Hong Kong and bar them from entering the United States. Under the legislation, the State Department would also be required to provide an annual report to Congress ensuring it remains autonomous from the rest of China. 

The bill comes as an increasing number of instances of violence have been reported in Hong Kong, with news breaking over the weekend that police officials threatened the use of lethal ammunition on demonstrators if they did not vacate Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s campus.  

Its passage also comes as the Trump administration attempts to close a trade deal with China, which could prove to be a hurdle for the White House.  

China blasted the bill following its passage in the upper chamber, warning the U.S. it shouldn't be interfering in its affairs. 

“The ‘Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act’ and the other act on Hong Kong are unnecessary and unwarranted. They will also harm the relations and common interests between Hong Kong and the US,” a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry told CNBC in a statement. 

“Since the return to the Motherland, the HKSAR (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region) has been exercising ‘Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong’ and a high degree of autonomy in strict accordance with the Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. The ‘one country, two systems’ principle has been fully and successfully implemented.”