Thursday, November 28, 2019

Trump says he will only enforce part of Hong Kong bill

By Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Updated 7:02 AM ET, Thu November 28, 2019

Protesters in Hong Kong will hold a celebratory, pro-US rally Thursday after President Donald Trump gave them what one prominent activist termed a "timely Thanksgiving present."
Trump signed an act in support of the protest movement despite a potential backlash from Beijing that could derail delicate US-China trade talks, after it was passed almost unanimously by both houses of Congress.


Though the Hong Kong legislation was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in Washington, it's unlikely to have any immediate, tangible effect.
The main bill that Trump signed into law, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, requires the State Department to annually review whether the city is "sufficiently autonomous" to justify its special trading status with the US.
If it is found not to be, the law could result in Washington withdrawing that status, which would be a massive blow to Hong Kong's economy.

The bill also lays out a process for the President to impose sanctions and travel restrictions on those who are found to be knowingly responsible for arbitrary detention, torture and forced confession of any individual in Hong Kong, or other violations of internationally recognized human rights in the Asian financial hub.

There is no indication however that Trump intends to enact any of the powers in the act anytime soon, and in a statement, the White House said it would only enforce parts of the law because "certain provisions of the Act would interfere with the exercise of the President's constitutional authority to state the foreign policy of the United States."


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