House votes to condemn China's government for Hong Kong rights violations
The House passed a resolution on Monday to condemn China's government and Hong Kong's regional legislature for "the continued violation of rights and freedoms" in a near-unanimous vote.
Driving the news: The resolution calling on the governments to free Hong Kong's pro-democracy leaders, imprisoned under China's national security law, passed 418-1. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) was the only Congress member to vote against the measure.
- Media tycoon Jimmy Lai, 73, an open critic of the ruling Chinese Communist Party, was among a group of activists sentenced last Friday under the law, which was imposed on Hong Kong last year.
What they're saying: House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (D-N.Y.) said the passing of the resolution sent "a strong bipartisan message demanding that the Chinese and Hong Kong governments respect the will" of Hong Kongers, per The Hill.
- "We will continue to push for democracy and respect for human rights in Hong Kong," he added.
"We will continue to demonstrate that we stand in solidarity with the pro-democracy figures and activists who have made tremendous sacrifices for their city and for their core human rights."— Meeks
The big picture: Former President Trump signed a bill last July sanctioning Chinese officials in response to Beijing's security law for Hong Kong.
- The Biden administration has since stepped up sanctions for further curtailing of democracy in the Asian financial hub.
The other side: China did not immediately respond to the House vote, but President Xi Jinping made a series of thinly veiled swipes at the U.S. on Tuesday, warning against "bossing others around or meddling in others' internal affairs."
Editor's note: This article has been updated to include Xi's comments.