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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi released a statement Thursday condemning the Chinese government's new national security law for Hong Kong and calling on Congress to work with the Trump administration to determine an appropriate response, which could include "visa limitations and economic penalties."
Why it matters: China's encroachment on Hong Kong's independent legal system, which effectively marks the end of the "one country, two systems" framework, has prompted rare bipartisan backlash in Washington at a time when tensions with Beijing are running high.
- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that he had certified to Congress that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous from China, paving the way for sanctions and other punitive measures.
- President Trump has said he will hold a press conference on China on Friday.
What she's saying:
“The so-called ‘national security framework’ – Beijing’s latest move against Hong Kong – threatens the death of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. This excessive law brazenly accelerates Beijing’s years-long assault on Hong Kong’s political and economic freedoms, coming after the threat of the extradition bill and of police brutality last fall. All freedom-loving people must come together to condemn this law.
In the U.S. Congress, there has always been bipartisan support for freedom, justice and real autonomy for the people of Hong Kong, and we were proud to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. Per the law, the Secretary of State has certified that Hong Kong no longer continues to warrant the special relationship it has enjoyed. The next step is now for the Administration to work with Congress on an appropriate response. We must consider all tools available, including visa limitations and economic penalties.
If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, we lose all moral authority to speak out elsewhere."