STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

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.

Confirmed Cases: 19978

Reported Deaths: 338
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Multnomah460893
Washington292124
Marion275568
Umatilla214126
Clackamas146438
Malheur71512
Deschutes5558
Lane5403
Jackson4211
Lincoln4149
Yamhill40412
Union3922
Jefferson3323
Morrow3272
Polk30112
Linn26310
Klamath2001
Hood River1780
Wasco1723
Benton1626
Douglas1401
Josephine1082
Coos890
Columbia860
Clatsop830
Crook421
Baker360
Tillamook340
Lake320
Wallowa191
Curry140
Sherman140
Harney100
Gilliam40
Grant20
Unassigned00
Wheeler00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 530606

Reported Deaths: 9808
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1981654827
Riverside38487738
Orange38131665
San Bernardino34237487
San Diego30516568
Kern21433152
Fresno15945157
Alameda12136193
San Joaquin12034187
Santa Clara11030192
Sacramento10174148
Tulare10078193
Imperial9513232
Stanislaus9308135
Contra Costa8324131
Ventura787777
San Francisco708162
Santa Barbara652664
San Mateo5758120
Marin518076
Monterey496634
Merced458351
Kings445356
Solano380638
Sonoma320842
Madera211432
Placer199819
San Luis Obispo197016
Yolo161442
Santa Cruz11964
Butte10128
Napa10079
Sutter8406
San Benito6894
El Dorado6681
Lassen6320
Yuba5334
Shasta4049
Colusa3594
Glenn3462
Mendocino3419
Nevada3161
Tehama2491
Humboldt2454
Lake2111
Mono1461
Tuolumne1442
Amador1370
Calaveras1361
Del Norte900
Siskiyou880
Inyo661
Mariposa592
Plumas330
Trinity50
Modoc40
Sierra30
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Medford
Clear
59° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 59°
Brookings
Clear
62° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 62°
Crater Lake
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 48°
Grants Pass
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Klamath Falls
Clear
48° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 48°
Warming up into the weekend
KDRV Radar
KDRV Fire Danger
KDRV Weather Cam

Community Events