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House votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong

House votes to condemn Chinese government over Hong Kong
© Greg Nash

The House passed a resolution on Monday to formally condemn the Chinese government and the Hong Kong regional government for actions that "violate the rights and freedoms" of the region's citizens.

Lawmakers adopted the resolution by a 418-1 vote that calls on the Chinese government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region to release pro-democracy activists and politicians arrested under the national security law enacted last year that reduces the city's autonomy and imposes harsh punishments for protesters.

"By passing this resolution, the House sends a strong bipartisan message demanding that the Chinese and Hong Kong governments respect the will of the people of Hong Kong. We will continue to push for democracy and respect for human rights in Hong Kong. We will continue to demonstrate that we stand in solidarity with the pro-democracy figures and activists who have made tremendous sacrifices for their city and for their core human rights," said House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory MeeksGregory Weldon MeeksAsian American lawmakers say State's 'assignment restrictions' discriminate Colombia's protests are threat, test for US Pressure increases for US to send vaccines to Latin America MORE (D-N.Y.).

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Rep. Thomas MassieThomas Harold MassieOvernight Health Care: WHO-backed Covax gets a boost from Moderna Vaccine hesitancy among lawmakers slows return to normalcy on Capitol Hill Gaetz, House Republicans introduce bill to defund Postal Service covert operations program MORE (R-Ky.) was the lone lawmaker to vote against the resolution.

Former President TrumpDonald TrumpFranklin Graham says Trump comeback would 'be a very tough thing to do' Man suspected in wife's disappearance accused of casting her ballot for Trump Stefanik: Cheney is 'looking backwards' MORE signed legislation into law last year that imposed sanctions on individuals responsible for violating human rights in Hong Kong as well as entities that materially contribute to the Chinese government's efforts to undermine Hong Kong's autonomy.

Monday's vote came days after a Hong Kong court sentenced several pro-democracy activists to prison on charges of unauthorized assembly. Among the activists sentenced was Jimmy Lai, a media tycoon whose company publishes a newspaper that is openly critical of the Chinese regime.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellBipartisanship has become a partisan weapon Washington showing signs of normalcy after year of restrictions Former OMB pick Neera Tanden to serve as senior adviser to Biden MORE (R-Ky.) condemned the prison sentences during a Senate floor speech earlier Monday.

“To the global business and government leaders who haven’t yet spoken out, I hope you are watching closely. If Beijing feels comfortable treating Hong Kongers this way, just think how little regard the [Chinese government] will show for basic international norms," McConnell said.