NEWARK – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), and Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statements after President Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act (S.1838) into law. The Senate unanimously passed the bill on Nov. 19, with the House following on Nov. 20 by a vote of 417 to 1, sending the bill directly to the president’s desk.
“The signing of this legislation into law ensures the United State finally sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of Hong Kong: We are with you,” said Senator Menendez. “With the world standing witness to history as the people of Hong Kong risk it all in pursuit of their legitimate aspirations for autonomy and against the erosion of democracy, I am incredibly proud to be able to grant them a powerful new tool with this important law. The vibrancy of the people of Hong Kong, especially the young people and the rising generation of leaders, is incredibly inspirational. I look forward to seeing the impact this law will have in boosting Hong Kongers yearning for democracy and self-governance.”
“Earlier this month, in an overwhelming display of bipartisan unity, Congress passed our Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, and I applaud President Trump for signing this critical legislation into law,” said Senator Rubio. “The U.S. now has new and meaningful tools to deter further influence and interference from Beijing into Hong Kong’s internal affairs. Following last weekend’s historic elections in Hong Kong that included record turnout, this new law could not be more timely in showing strong U.S. support for Hong Kongers’ long-cherished freedoms. I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to implement this law.”
“I am proud of this bipartisan law that sends a strong message to the demonstrators in Hong Kong, the government of Hong Kong, as well as the Communist Party of China: the United States is not only watching, but stands with demonstrators as they march for their autonomy, for their democracy, and for their human rights,” said Senator Cardin. “We now have stronger legislative tools to back up our a moral obligation to support Hong Kong’s autonomy and hold China accountable for violations of human rights.”
“I’m glad President Trump today signed this important legislation into law,” said Senator Risch. “Without question, the American people support the people of Hong Kong, and this law makes that abundantly clear to Hong Kongers, the international community, and the Chinese Communist Party. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is an important step forward in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy and its repression of fundamental human rights. This law is the product of a true bipartisan, bicameral effort, and I am gratified that we came together with one voice to tell the people of Hong Kong that the United States stands with them.”