The Senate unanimously passed a bill Tuesday supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong and mandating that the U.S. president take formal action against those who commit human rights violations in Hong Kong. According to Politico, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act will require the president to impose sanctions on human rights violators—along with individuals who partake in “extrajudicial rendition, arbitrary detention, torture or forced confession of people in Hong Kong.” The law would also require the State Department to annually evaluate whether Hong Kong continues to receive special treatment from the U.S. and require Congress to receive a yearly report on violations of United Nations sanctions and U.S. export controls laws in Hong Kong. According to Bloomberg, China issued a threat of “unspecified retaliation” if the bill ended up becoming law. The Hong Kong government also reportedly said it had “extreme regret” over the bill, saying it would negatively impact the U.S.-Hong Kong relationship. “The U.S. Senate took a stand today in support of the Hong Kong people,” Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch (R-ID) said in a statement.
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