President Trump signed two bills supporting Hong Kong protesters into law Wednesday, despite China's repeated objections.
The actions — which come at a delicate time in U.S.-China trade deal negotiations — protect Hong Kong's autonomy, ban the sale of munitions such as tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets to Hong Kong police, and threaten China with sanctions for human rights abuses.
"I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong. They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all," Trump said in a statement released by the White House.
China reacted with fury to the move, with Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng calling it "serious interference in China's internal affairs and a serious violation of international law."