Senate Targets Beijing for Violating Hong Kong Democracy and ‘Double Voting’ at World Bodies
Forty U.S. senators signed a non-binding motion on March 15, requiring the U.S. government to utilize any feasible tools in unwavering response to the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) suppression of democratic freedoms in Hong Kong.
The resolution lays out the actions taken by the CCP in undermining the 1984 agreement of one country, two systems, the Basic Law that came into effect at the handover of Hong Kong to China in 1997. The resolution highlights the overly harsh actions taken against the Umbrella movement in 2014 when the general public protested at proposed changes to the electoral system and during the 2019-20 protests against the anti-extradition law.
It also draws attention to Beijing’s introduction of the Hong Kong National Security Law in 2020 and using national security as a pretext to enact changes to the electoral system, and subsequently arresting and imprisoning over 200 people for their actions during those two protest events as well as for political activities considered illegal by the regime.
The resolution mentions that Hong Kong has a voting right in many international organizations, such as the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, the International Financial Action Task Force, the International Olympic Committee, and the World Trade Organization, which gives the CCP a double vote in these critical institutions.
The non-binding proposal strongly encourages the U.S. government and other countries to facilitate the abolition of Hong Kong’s independent voting status in the related agencies, as the voting procedures recognize no meaningful distinction between Hong Kong and mainland China.
Jim Risch, vice chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, participated in the joint signature statement.
Risch pointed out that the Hong Kong National Security Law, enforced by the Chinese Communist Party in 2020, had made Hong Kong and mainland China lose any of their meaningful distinction.
He encouraged the U.S. authorities to hold Beijing and Hong Kong governments accountable in any feasible way.
Risch also urged the Hong Kong government to cease its political accusations against democrats like Jimmy Lai Chee-ying, founder of now-shut down Next Media, and Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, Bishop of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong.
Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, expected the motion to pass quickly and said he would continue strengthening U.S. policy against China.
The statement also condemns the Hong Kong National Security Law and the regime for violating human rights and their allegations of democrats like Jimmy Lai and Cardinal Zen against their political motives, such as fraud, to tarnish their reputations before their national security law trials.
In the non-binding motion, the senators urge to pursue and hold China accountable for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy, the rule of law, and freedom. It warns the Hong Kong government to immediately withdraw its allegations related to incitement and national security law and release all political prisoners.
The 40 U.S. senators support Hong Kong people’s struggle for fundamental human rights and freedoms.
The Hong Kong government issued a news release on March 16, expressing its strong dissatisfaction and opposition to the U.S. Senate’s bill proposal.