The lower house of the United States Congress, The United States House of Representatives, approved fresh sanctions against China after Beijing’s National Security Law was condemned globally.
The unanimously passed legislature penalises banks that do business with the Chinese.
The law passed by Beijing is described as “brutal, sweeping crackdown against the people of Hong Kong, intended to destroy the freedoms they were promised,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
The bill will now require approval of the Senate, the upper house before it goes to President Trump for his final signatures before it becomes real.
Critics say that China’s National Security Law ends freedom promised to Hong Kong for 50 years when Britain handed it over to Beijing in 1997.
Even before the bill was enacted United States eliminated Hong Kong’s special status. Mr. Trump signed a Human Rights and Democracy Act supporting pro-democracy protesters.
Britain says law goes against the core agreement of ‘one country, two systems’ principle when it was handed back to China.
Condemning the law, UK has offered citizenship to three million Hongkongers. However, China has threatened retaliation to block UK’s citizenship plan.
National Security Law:
The law came into force on Tuesday night 11pm with four categories of offences – secession, subversion, terrorism, and collusion with a foreign country or external elements to endanger national security.
The punishment varies between a life to a three year imprisonment.
‘Anti-nationals’ can be extradited to mainland China from Hong Kong. The law also subverts the Hong Kong judiciary as only Beijing appointed judges can hear such matters.
The law is applicable to entire China including Hong Kong. Even foreign nationals could face action under this law if they are found to be anti-Beijing.