SEVERE WX : Wind Advisory - High Wind Watch - Winter Weather Advisory View Alerts

Trump signs Hong Kong human rights act as China blasts 'plainly bullying behavior'

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday...

Posted: Nov 28, 2019 3:54 AM
Updated: Nov 28, 2019 3:56 AM

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a law supporting Hong Kong's months-long protest movement, handing anti-government demonstrators in the semi-autonomous Chinese city a moral victory and likely complicating trade negotiations with Beijing.

The US has long maintained a special trading relationship with Hong Kong, a semi-autonomous territory where mass protests have erupted continuously since June over perceived infringement on its autonomy by Beijing, among a host of other issues.

The new law will require the US to annually confirm that Hong Kong's special freedoms are being maintained by Beijing -- failure to do so could result in Washington withdrawing the city's special status, a massive blow to the Hong Kong 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.

However, the US President's statement also indicated the administration would only enforce parts of the measure -- as it interferes with the President's ability to conduct foreign policy.

"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. My Administration will treat each of the provisions of the Act consistently with the President's constitutional authorities with respect to foreign relations," the White House said in a statement.

In a personal signing statement, Trump added that he had signed the bills "out of respect for President Xi (Jinping), 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."

Delicate time

In a forceful statement after the bill was passed, China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said the law "seriously interferes in Hong Kong's affairs and China's domestic politics."

"It has seriously violated international law and basic rules of international relations," the statement added. "Such plainly bullying behavior is firmly opposed by the Chinese government and Chinese people."

The ministry accused the law of seeking to "destroy prosperity and stability in Hong Kong, the great practice of 'one country, two systems,' and the historical process of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation."

Separately, the Hong Kong government called the act "unnecessary and unwarranted" and said it "deeply regretted that the US has disregarded the genuine concerns raised repeatedly by Hong Kong."

"Although human rights and democracy are mentioned in the title of the Act, some of the provisions in the Act are actually about export control and enforcement of the sanctions imposed by the United Nations in Hong Kong, which are totally unrelated to human rights and democracy in Hong Kong," a spokesman said.

Trump's announcement comes at a delicate time for US-China relations, as trade negotiators appeared to be edging closer to a trade deal between the US and China.

On Tuesday, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and his US counterparts, Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, spoke on the phone to discuss trade negotiations, according to China's Ministry of Commerce.

"Both sides discussed each other's core concerns and reached a consensus on how to resolve these issues. Both sides agreed to maintain communication on the remaining matters in (trade) talks regarding a phase one agreement," the Commerce Ministry statement read.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 348766

Reported Deaths: 4161
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah54797689
Washington37988313
Marion36055444
Clackamas29094304
Lane26966298
Jackson22632300
Deschutes19577123
Umatilla14241144
Linn12380120
Douglas11795240
Josephine9233195
Yamhill8517110
Klamath7709110
Polk715380
Malheur551574
Benton529130
Coos489691
Columbia371343
Jefferson361450
Union313146
Lincoln310638
Wasco281540
Crook274745
Clatsop239529
Baker198028
Tillamook193328
Hood River188337
Morrow181623
Curry178122
Harney108424
Grant97612
Lake89011
Wallowa67012
Gilliam1484
Sherman1463
Wheeler991
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4812309

Reported Deaths: 70616
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles147679126410
Riverside3693444990
San Diego3646344163
San Bernardino3563155566
Orange3227415518
Sacramento1576212279
Santa Clara1445181890
Kern1441461605
Fresno1441232051
Alameda1198871374
San Joaquin1018071708
Ventura1005241164
Contra Costa99234982
Stanislaus851571315
Tulare78945951
San Francisco54031645
San Mateo53828622
Monterey50696582
Solano45761334
Santa Barbara44836521
Merced41781577
Sonoma40711402
Placer38902415
Imperial35642764
Kings32369314
San Luis Obispo29653329
Madera23518281
Butte23364260
Shasta23360334
Santa Cruz20861218
Yolo20147247
Marin17581243
El Dorado16960149
Sutter13775169
Napa12808100
Yuba994282
Tehama9298104
Humboldt9102108
Nevada903990
Mendocino752786
Lassen746346
San Benito737372
Tuolumne673993
Lake6506104
Amador537264
Siskiyou442742
Glenn430330
Calaveras381780
Del Norte356141
Colusa301718
Inyo196739
Mono16445
Plumas15756
Mariposa127315
Trinity86011
Modoc6698
Unassigned1860
Sierra1760
Alpine1020
Out of CA00
Medford
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 46°
Brookings
Clear
46° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 46°
Crater Lake
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 36° Lo: 26°
Feels Like: 46°
Grants Pass
Partly Cloudy
46° wxIcon
Hi: 59° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 46°
Klamath Falls
Partly Cloudy
33° wxIcon
Hi: 50° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 33°
Winds pick up Tuesday
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events