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Thousands of people hold an unsanctioned march through the streets of Hong Kong. Photo: Mohd Rasfan/Getty Images

The Senate unanimously passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Tuesday to reaffirm American support for the city's autonomy.

The big picture: The bill asserts the U.S.' commitment to "democracy, human rights, and the rule of law" as it relates to Hong Kong's autonomy, according to bill sponsor Sen. Marco Rubio's description. The legislation comes amid months of violent clashes between police and protestors in Hong Kong.

Between the lines: The passage sends a clear message to China, with whom the U.S. has been caught up in a trade war since 2017. Tuesday's bill would require annual reviews of Hong Kong's special status under U.S. law, during which officials would assess how much China has breached the city's governance.

  • "The United States has treated commerce and trade with Hong Kong differently than it has commercial and trade activity with the mainland of China," Rubio said on the Senate floor.
  • "But what’s happened over the last few years is the steady effort on the part of Chinese authorities to erode that autonomy and those freedoms," he added.

What to watch: The bill may now head to the House for consideration. However, the House has passed its own version of the measure that they could try to reconcile with the Senate. Only slight differences exist between the two.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

The billionaire balloon

Data: World Inequality Report 2022; Chart: Axios Visuals

The super-rich are getting stupid rich: New data out today shows the share of global wealth held by the richest slice of humanity swelled by almost a full percentage point during the pandemic.

Driving the news: The top 0.01% of individuals now hold about 11% of the world's wealth, compared to just over 10% in 2020, according to the "World Inequality Report 2022," written by Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman.

1 hour ago - Science

Exploding demand for laboratory space

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Office occupancy rates remain deflated across industries, but one type of workplace is in high demand: labs.

The big picture: A number of trends — in public health, American demographics and venture capital funding — are colliding to supercharge the life sciences industry.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
1 hour ago - Technology

Trump's unconventional social media SPAC

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Donald Trump's social media startup is under investigation by federal securities regulators, before it's even launched a product, and every new disclosure seems to invite new questions.

Why it matters: Trump Media & Technology Group was always bound to be controversial, but it's inviting extra scrutiny by keeping basic details secret and making wild promises.