The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday passed two bills intended to support protesters in Hong Kong and send a warning to China about human rights.
The President Trump has 10 days, excluding Sundays, to sign a bill passed by Congress or veto.
The House voted 417 to one for the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act”, which had passed the Senate unanimously on Tuesday. Strong support for the measure had been expected, as House members passed a similar bill last month.
The legislation, has angered Beijing would require the State Department to certify at least once a year that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to qualify for the special US trading consideration that helped it become a world financial centre.
It also would provide sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.
Demonstrators in Hong Kong have taken to the streets since June angry at what they see as Chinese meddling in the freedoms promised to Hong Kong when the UK returned the territory to China in 1997.
The Hong Kong government issued its own statement on Thursday after the passage of the bill. It called the legislature a ‘wrong message’ to the protesters.
Earlier, Donald Trump called on China to handle the issue humanely, while warning that if anything bad happened in Hong Kong, it could be bad for talks to end a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.