U.S. Congress holds hearing on Hong Kong and Human Rights and Democracy Act . . .
In response to the ongoing situation in Hong Kong, the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) held a hearing on Tuesday to assess the future of U.S.-Hong Kong relations. Prominent activists from the 2014 Umbrella Movement, such as Joshua Wong and Denise Ho, testified at the hearing and urged U.S. lawmakers to back the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, a bill introduced by Senator Marco Rubio and Representative Christopher Smith. If passed, the Act will require the Secretary of State to conduct an annual review of the special privileges Washington gives Hong Kong under the 1992 U.S. Hong Kong Policy Act. The bill is currently backed by 45 lawmakers across the Senate and House of Representatives.
Lining up support in Washington . . .
As activists were pressing their case before Congress, the Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC) announced its launch. According to its website, HKDC is a “Washington, DC-based nonprofit, organization dedicated to promoting democracy and human rights in Hong Kong.” Its advisory board includes student activists and leading academics, such as Andrew Nathan and Larry Diamond. The establishment of the HKDC could signal that the activists are lining up support for a protracted fight with Hong Kong authorities.
Canada pressured to react . . .
In Canada, there have been calls to grant asylum to the Hong Kong protesters. However, leaders of Canada’s two main political parties have yet to offer concrete policy responses on Hong Kong. Liberal leader Justin Trudeau said that his government, if re-elected, would focus on the 300,000 Canadians living in Hong Kong, while Conservative leader Andrew Scheer said that his government would closely monitor the situation and stand up for human rights.
- Globe and Mail: Trudeau, Scheer have little to offer in way of help to Hong Kong residents who fear for their safety
- South China Morning Post: China warns against efforts to ‘disrupt Hong Kong with foreign support’ after activists testify before US Congress
- Washington Post: Hong Kong activists press U.S. to counter China’s erosion of city’s freedoms