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China Summons US Ambassador; Warns Against Hong Kong Rights Bill

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Chinese government has summoned the U.S. Ambassador to that country to demand that Washington should not enforce the Hong Kong Rights Bill that the Congress passed last week.

Both Houses of Congress have passed a Bill that declares solidarity with the student protesters' fight for human rights and democracy in Hong Kong and making the Chinese territory's special status granted by Washington conditional.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 by a 417 to 1 vote, a day after the Senate unanimously approved the legislation.

The amended bipartisan bill will become law after President Donald Trump signs it.

The House also approved another Bill banning sales of tear gas, rubber bullets and other equipment used by Hong Kong security forces.

Building on the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, this amended bill would require the Secretary of State to annually review whether Hong Kong still retains enough autonomy to warrant favorable trade status from Washington, and threatens to revoke it if the semi-autonomous region fails to ensure freedom and human rights.

It also calls for imposing sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.

In addition, the bill would task the Executive Branch to develop a strategy to protect American citizens and others in Hong Kong from rendition or abduction to China, and to report annually to Congress on violations of U.S. export controls laws and United Nations sanctions occurring in Hong Kong.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang on Monday summoned U.S. Ambassador to China Terry Branstad to lodge strong protest against both the houses of U.S. parliament passing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, the state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

On behalf of the Chinese government, he urged the United States to "correct its mistake immediately, stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and China's other internal affairs."

The top Chinese official accused U.S. Congress of "conniving at and supporting anti-China rabble rousers' violent crimes," which, according to him, is in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations.

Zheng vowed Beijing's determination to implement the "one country, two systems" principle in Hong Kong and to oppose any external forces that interfere in its affairs.

He warned that if the Human Rights Act is not prevented from becoming law, the United States will have to bear the consequences.

Trump hasn't made his mind clear on weather he would sign the bill as the two countries are trying to work out a trade deal.

The U.S. legislation was in response to violent crackdown on massive pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam withdrew the extradition bill, but refused to concede the other four demands raised by the protesters, which include her resignation.

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