Lawmakers urge Obama to speak up for Hong Kong protesters

A bipartisan group of nearly two dozen lawmakers urged President Obama Thursday to publicly support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

Obama should “speak out personally” to support the protesters and his administration should “take demonstrable, meaningful steps to help ensure that Beijing maintains its commitments to the people of Hong Kong,” the 21 lawmakers wrote in a letter to the president.

{mosads}The group, spearheaded by Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), said they “strongly support the Hong Kong people’s aspiration for universal suffrage and full democracy.”

“Hong Kong’s economic prosperity and position as Asia’s ‘world city’ is rooted in fundamental rights, including freedoms of peaceful assembly, expression, and the press,” the letter said. 

Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Carl Levin (D-Mich.) are among the lawmakers who signed the letter.

A week of mass protests in support of democratic reforms in Hong Kong gained international attention and sparked worries that authorities in China would respond with a violent crack down. Beijing has restricted democratic reforms in Hong Kong and is requiring that only candidates vetted by the Communist Party can run for chief executive.

Lawmakers accused Beijing of “backsliding on its commitments under the Sino-British Joint Declaration,” under which China promised to respect Hong Kong’s freedoms.

The lawmakers said the president has authority to suspend some trade ties and government contacts if China does not honor its promises.

The White House has urged Hong Kong authorities to “exercise restraint,” but the lawmakers said the U.S. should offer more support for the protesters.

“The Administration should be speaking out more forcefully on behalf of the people of Hong Kong who are trying to exercise self-determination,” added Wicker in a statement.

“The people of Hong Kong have sent a strong message to the world that they want the right to choose their leaders to be respected,” Leahy said in a statement.

Tags Carl Levin Dianne Feinstein Hong Kong Lindsey Graham Marco Rubio Patrick Leahy Roger Wicker Ted Cruz

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

See all Hill.TV See all Video

Most Popular

Load more


See all Video