US lawmakers on Thursday responded to a crisis in Hong Kong over a proposed extradition law with China by introducing legislation that would require the US government to justify the continuation of special treatment for the territory.
The bipartisan legislation in the US Senate, sponsored by several senior senators, would require the US secretary of state to issue an annual certification of Hong Kong’s autonomy to justify special treatment under the US-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.
The proposed law, introduced by Republican US Senator Marco Rubio and Democratic Senator Ben Cardin, would also require the US president to identify those responsible for the abduction of booksellers and other individuals from Hong Kong and subject them to US sanctions.
Photo: George Tsorng, Taipei Times
In Beijing, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday expressed “extreme dissatisfaction” with the proposed US legislation, calling it “irresponsible carping and crude interference.”
China called on the US “to give up its delusions of creating chaos in Hong Kong, stop pushing the proposed bill and to stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs,” ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) told a regular media briefing.
The bill would also require the president to issue a strategy to protect US citizens and businesses from the effects of a revised extradition law and the US Department of Commerce to issue an annual report assessing whether Hong Kong was adequately enforcing US and UN sanctions, particularly those on Iran and North Korea.
In addition, the legislation would make clear that Hong Kong citizens should not be denied visas to the US if they were arrested or detained in connection with protest activity in the territory.
The legislation was also expected to be introduced to the US House of Representatives.
Scuffles broke out between demonstrators and police in Hong Kong on Thursday as hundreds of people persevered with a protest against the extradition law one day after police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to break up big crowds.
Wednesday’s protests around the Hong Kong Legislative Council forced the postponement of debate on the bill, which many in Hong Kong fear would undermine freedoms and confidence in the commercial hub.
KEEP AWAY: People should wear a mask in places where they cannot follow social distancing rules, the CECC said, adding that it would publish detailed guidelines today The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) yesterday announced 16 new cases of COVID-19, including two domestic cases, as it urged people to practice social distancing in public spaces by keeping a distance of at least 1m when outdoors and 1.5m indoors. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that seven of the new cases tested positive upon their arrival at the airport, four were under home quarantine, one was under home isolation and two were under self-health management, while the two domestic cases sought treatment on their own. The domestic cases are a man in his
Taiwan will negotiate with the WHO about its participation without Beijing’s help and intervention as more countries, including Australia and Japan, are partnering with Taiwan to curb the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a telephonic roundtable with reporters on Monday also supported Taiwan’s role in the WHO, saying the US Department of State would do its best to assist Taiwan’s “appropriate role” in the world’s highest health policy setting body, Voice of America reported. In a Japan Business Press report published on Sunday, Chinese Ambassador to Japan Kong Xuanyou (孔鉉佑) said
Japan’s ruling party yesterday proposed the nation’s biggest-ever stimulus package of ￥60 trillion (US$554 billion) as the COVID-19 pandemic locks the economy in a recession. The sum includes ￥20 trillion in fiscal measures with private initiatives and other elements likely making up the rest, the proposal by the Liberal Democratic Party showed. More than ￥10 trillion, or the equivalent of a 5 percentage point cut in the sales tax rate, would be handed out to the public in a combination of cash, subsidies and coupons, the plan showed. The proposal puts an initial figure on a stimulus package that Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo
Malaysian authorities have advised women to wear makeup, not to nag their husbands and speak with a cartoon character’s soothing voice during the virus lockdown, sparking a flood of mockery online. Like many countries, Malaysia has ordered all citizens to stay at home to stem the spread of COVID-19, which, as of yesterday, had killed at least 39,070 people globally. In a series of online posters with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19, the Malaysian Ministry of Women and Family Development issued advice on how to avoid domestic conflicts during the partial lockdown, which began on March 18. One of the campaign posters depicted