The US Capitol Building | Photographer: Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg
The US Capitol Building | Photographer: Stefani Reynolds | Bloomberg
Text Size:

Washington: The U.S. Senate gave final approval to legislation that would impose sanctions on Chinese officials cracking down on dissent in Hong Kong. The bill heads to President Donald Trump for his signature or veto.

The House and Senate moved quickly to enact the legislation after the Chinese government imposed a new national security law in the territory that critics say is aimed at squashing protests against the government and could lead to, in some cases, life imprisonment.

The legislation has been a high priority for members of both parties, who’ve been joining forces on measures to pressure the government in Beijing on trade and human rights.

“I have no doubt that the president will sign it and I’m confident that it will be properly enforced,” said Pennsylvania Republican Senator Pat Toomey, who co-sponsored the Senate version with Democrat Chris Van Hollen of Maryland.

The Senate approved its bill by voice vote last week, but it was modified slightly in the House and had to be passed again by the Senate.

Van Hollen said he and Toomey worked with the Treasury Department to resolve technical objections to some of the bill’s original provisions.

The legislation provides for sanctions against financial institutions working with Chinese officials who are determined by the U.S. to be interfering in Hong Kong affairs. It requires the State Department to report to Congress every year about officials who seek to undermine the “one country, two systems” model that applies to Hong Kong. It gives the president the power to seize the assets of those individuals and block their entry to the U.S.

We are deeply grateful to our readers & viewers for their time, trust and subscriptions.

Quality journalism is expensive and needs readers to pay for it. Your support will define our work and ThePrint’s future.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

The law gives banks a kind of year-long grace period to stop doing business with entities and individuals the State Department determines to be “primary offenders” when it comes to undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy. After that period, the Treasury Department can impose a variety of penalties on those institutions, including barring top executives from entering the U.S. and restricting the ability to engage in U.S. dollar-denominated transactions, according to Toomey.

The sanctions would apply to Chinese banks as well as Chinese subsidiaries of U.S. banks, Toomey said during a conference call with reporters. He indicated it would mostly affect the largest Chinese lenders that do business with the U.S.

The law, Toomey said, is “certainly not a threat to American financial institutions.”-Bloomberg


Also read: US sanctions over Hong Kong security law threaten $1.1 trillion in Chinese funding


Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

News media is in a crisis & only you can fix it

You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.

You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.

We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And we aren’t even three yet.

At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly and on time even in this difficult period. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is. Our stellar coronavirus coverage is a good example. You can check some of it here.

This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it. Because the advertising market is broken too.

If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous, and questioning journalism, please click on the link below. Your support will define our journalism, and ThePrint’s future. It will take just a few seconds of your time.

Support Our Journalism

Share Your Views

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here