U.S. senators are introducing a bipartisan bill that would sanction Chinese officials and entities who enforce new national security law in Hong Kong. The legislation would also penalize banks who do business with those entities.
China proposed a law on Thursday that would amend the country's "one country, two systems" document and allow it to bypass Hong Kong's legislature and chief executive.
Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Pat Toomey (R-PA) said they had been working on a bill aimed at pressuring China into preserving Hong Kong's special status, as well as defending human rights in the city. They said that Thursday's proposal makes their bill more urgent and that they will press Senate leaders to take it up more quickly.
"We would impose penalties on individuals who are complicit in China's illegal crackdown in Hong Kong," Van Hollen said, adding that China's law is "a gross violation" of the country's agreement with the U.K. to protect Hong Kong's autonomy.
Toomey said it was "very, very deeply disturbing."
🔦 President Trump signed a bill last year showing solidarity with pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.