Protesters celebrate passage of controversial Hong Kong bill

Andrew Cummings
November 29, 2019

Warning of "countermeasures" against the USA after President Donald Trump signed a bill supporting pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, a livid China on Thursday summoned the U.S. envoy and asked Washington to refrain from putting the law into effect to "avoid further damage" to bilateral ties.

The democracy law states that it is US policy to reaffirm the 1992 Hong Kong policy law including support for democratization in Hong Kong.

House of Representatives Speaker, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, said she was "pleased" that Trump had signed off on the legislation. "Everyone globally should support that", said 25-year-old Jacky, who only gave his first name.

"The world is seeing a singular view of Hong Kong events through the lens of those who wish to destroy its parent where the only possible outcome is to completely sacrifice the child", Leung said.

Hong Kong will now have to regularly prove it has enough autonomy from China - to keep its special status with the U.S. The The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Actalso threatens sanctions for human rights violations.

That U.S. law stipulates that Hong Kong be considered a separate entity in matters of trade, investments, and visas after the territory returned to Chinese rule in 1997.

China's foreign minister, Wang Yi had said earlier that the bill was as "naked interference in China's internal affairs" as China summoned the United States ambassador to Beijing to raise strong objections over the bill.

After the Senate approved the bill, the Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced it, saying it "interferes in China's internal affairs" and "violates the basic norms of worldwide law and global relations".

In recent weeks, masked protesters have pelted police with petrol bombs and set fire to the campus of Hong Kong Polytech University (Poly U), which they occupied for several days before being rounded up and arrested.

It states that the U.S. should allow Hong Kong residents to obtain visas to work or study in the USA - even if they have been arrested for being part of "non-violent protests supporting human rights or the rule of law".

Protests started in June, when huge numbers of people took to the streets to protest against a proposed bill that would have allowed the deportation of Hong Kong criminals to China.

The standoff settled into a tense stalemate during which hundreds fled the campus - some making daring escapes, others caught and beaten by officers during failed breakouts - leaving a dwindling core of holdouts surrounded by police cordons.

But the protests have continued and are now over issues linked to democracy, human rights and their treatment by the police. About 1,100 people were arrested last week.

Reuters witnesses at the university said garbage and abandoned sleeping bags, helmets and gas masks were strewn everywhere, but no protesters could be seen.

Moutai fell as much as 5.4%, its biggest loss since May 6, and the worst performer on the A50 gauge, which headed for its lowest close in two months.

HONG KONG-American flags showed up in the form of paper print-outs, animated images displayed on smartphones, and dozens of flagpoles waving in the air. Beijing on Thursday reiterated its threat to take action, without elaborating.

"The nature of this is extremely abominable, and harbours absolutely sinister intentions", the foreign ministry said in a statement. "The U.S. plot is doomed to fail". He said Beijing promised Hong Kong a "high degree of autonomy", not full autonomy, and warned the city risks losing even this freedom with the foreign intervention. "You'd better stay tuned". "What will come will come". He was told that the USA had to stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and this would affect "cooperation in important areas", a veiled reference to the ongoing talks on "phase one" of a trade agreement that Trump described on Tuesday as being in their "final throes". "It certainly looks good for him right now in Hong Kong".

Protester holds USA flags during a demonstration in Hong Kong, Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019.

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