The US Senate has unanimously passed a bill that would impose sanctions on Chinese officials who undermine Hong Kong’s semi-autonomous status, as well as the banks and state entities that do business with them, reported the Financial Times.
Chris Van Hollen, a Democratic senator from Maryland and one of the bill’s co-authors, said the legislation would require the Trump administration to act “on individuals in the government of China who are undermining the rights of people in Hong Kong.” He added that any bank seen as “aiding and abetting” Beijing in impinging the rights of Hong Kongers “can be subject to sanctions.”
The bill passed the US Senate by voice-vote one week after Kevin Cramer, one of the bill’s Republican co-sponsors, blocked its passage when the administration proposed what senators described as last-minute technical changes.
The legislation will now be taken up in the House of Representatives where two lawmakers have introduced a companion bill. It is unclear if the White House will implement the bill.