Nancy Pelosi denounces Beijing's brazen acts, supports US laws to punish suppressionLocal | 12 Jun 2019 1:55 pm
Beijing’s brazen willingness to trample over the law to silence dissent and stifle the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong is chillingly on display in the China-controled Legislative Council’s proposed extradition bill, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says in a statement, in which she describes the legislation as “dangerous.''
She also says US lawmakers are looking forward to the introduction in the coming days of the new bipartisan Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act by Senator Marco Rubio, Chairman Jim McGovern and Congressman Chris Smith. Rubio co-chairs the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China. He later met activist Joshua Wong Chi-fung on the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's handover to China.
The act, revived in 2017, was first proposed following the 2015 disappearances of five booksellers operating in Causeway Bay. They later were seen in the mainland.
The bill asks the US President to identify people responsible for the surveillance, abduction, detention, or forced confessions of booksellers and journalists, and other actions suppressing basic freedoms of Hong Kong. It also stipulates freezing the US-based assets of identified persons and barring them from entering the United States.
The bill's co-drafter Cotton, has said the US President will be given powers to hold Beijing accountable and send a strong message to Chinese officials, that attempts to undermine liberty in Hong Kong and walk away from their promises will not be without consequences,” said Senator Tom Cotton, who co-drafted the bill.
The Hong Kong Government has said the bill is an interference in the SARs affairs.
Pelosi says her statement is in support of the courageous protestors in Hong Kong speaking out against a dangerous proposed extradition law.
“The hearts of all freedom-loving people were moved by the courage of the one million men and women of Hong Kong who took to the streets on Sunday to peacefully demand their rights, defend their sovereignty and denounce this horrific extradition bill.
“The China-controlled Legislative Council’s proposed extradition bill chillingly showcases Beijing’s brazen willingness to trample over the law to silence dissent and stifle the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. This legislation would legitimize and legalize the kidnapping of businessmen, booksellers and anyone that China disagrees with, and imperils the safety of the 85,000 Americans living in Hong Kong. As Martin Lee, the founder of Hong Kong’s Democratic Party, recently wrote, this bill ‘threatens to destroy Hong Kong’s free society.’
“The extradition bill imperils the strong U.S.-Hong Kong relationship that has flourished for two decades. If it passes, the Congress has no choice but to reassess whether Hong Kong is ‘sufficiently autonomous’ under the ‘one country, two systems’ framework. We look forward to the introduction of a new bipartisan Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the coming days by Senator Rubio, Chairman Jim McGovern and Congressman Chris Smith.
“The House stands united with Senator McConnell, the Administration and all who have denounced this dangerous extradition legislation. America stands with the people of Hong Kong.”