China threatens 'strong countermeasures' if Congress passes Hong Kong legislation

China threatens 'strong countermeasures' if Congress passes Hong Kong legislation
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China warned the United States of “strong countermeasures” Wednesday, after a series of bills aimed to support the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong passed the House, Bloomberg reports.

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang said that the House-passed legislation “fully exposes the shocking hypocrisy of some in the U.S. on human rights and democracy and their malicious intention to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability to contain China’s development,” the news outlet reports.


The proposed bills follow last week's talks between President TrumpDonald John TrumpGOP senators balk at lengthy impeachment trial Warren goes local in race to build 2020 movement 2020 Democrats make play for veterans' votes MORE and Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump's subsequent announcement that stages of a preliminary trade deal had been reached.

On Tuesday House lawmakers passed H.R. 543 and H.R. 4270. H.R. 543 doubles down on the United States' relationship with Hong Kong and condemns Chinese interference in the region. H.R. 4270, also known as the Protect Hong Kong Act, ceases the U.S. export of crowd-control devices such as tear gas and rubber bullets to Hong Kong.

Another piece of legislation passed was the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would enact an annual review of Hong Kong lawmakers and outline sanctions for officials who undermine the region's “fundamental freedoms and autonomy,” according to Bloomberg.

While the bills would still need the Senate's stamp of approval and the president's signature, the legislations appears to have widespread bipartisan support in both levels of Congress.

“Retaliation, that’s all they ever talk,” Rep. Chris SmithChristopher (Chris) Henry SmithChina threatens 'strong countermeasures' if Congress passes Hong Kong legislation This week: Congress returns to chaotic Washington Nancy Pelosi is ready for this fight MORE (R-N.J.) told Bloomberg TV in response to the Chinese warnings.

“They try to browbeat and cower people, countries, presidents, prime ministers and the like all over in order to get them to back off," Smith noted. "We believe that human rights are so elemental, and so in need of protection."

Additionally, the New Jersey lawmaker said that he believes the legislation will pass the Senate.