The United States is fast tracking their Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. This is being done due to the increasing violence of the prolonged protests.
The Fast Track
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act seeks to help Hong Kong as a whole. The target of the bill is to punish any people who have violated Hong Kong’s autonomy from mainland China. As of now, Hong Kong and China operate under a “one country, two systems” principle.
Senator Marco Rubio is the sponsor of the Hong Kong Bill. Rubio and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Jim Risch have been trying to speed up the process. Last Thursday, they pushed the process so that the bill can be passed immediately.
They did this by circumventing the formal voting process. Instead, they ask if anyone opposes the bill. If not, the bill will be brought to the floor for instant voting and passing.
Despite their best efforts, Rubio and Risch were not able to move forward with their plan.
This does not necessarily mean that the fast track is dead in the water. One aide said that the process is still in motion.
A Supportive US
Rubio and Risch are not the only government workers who support Hong Kong. Earlier on Thursday, a senator for Florida also voiced the same sentiments. This senator also wanted the bill to be passed immediately.
In a released statement, he pointed out how Hong Kong is fighting for their freedom against an aggressive opponent.
Rubio echoed that by saying the world needs to see that the United States will stand up for the people of Hong Kong. He says that a clear message must be sent that shows the free world stands with Hong Kong.
On the other side of the world, a spokesman for Beijing also spoke about the bill. A spokesperson said that they oppose this bill. They also warned that the United States would suffer if the bill gets passed.
The spokesperson said that, “China will take strong countermeasures in response to any wrong US decision.”
The War Rages
The protests have been going for more than 20 weeks now. Violence has steadily been increasing in the country. Recently, the battles have been brought to schools and universities.
In one such incident, the police have used more than a thousand tear gas canisters and rubber bullets.
More and more injuries are being reported every day. Just this past week, a person was shot point blank. A police spokesperson said that the person deserved to be shot.
A pregnant woman was also slammed on the ground and detained. Finally, another protester died after being hit with a “heavy object.”
The police continue to enact violence, while the protesters answer back with the hopes of surviving.
Will the bill be the saving grace the people of Hong Kong need? That remains to be seen. However, it is a good effort against the violence currently raging in Hong Kong.