Durbin Meets With Chicago Area Hong Kong Democracy Activists
SPRINGFIELD – U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) today had a virtual meeting with Chicago area Hong Kong democracy activists to discuss the undermining of democracy, media freedom, and rule of law in Hong Kong. Durbin is a cosponsor of the bipartisan Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, which passed the Senate by unanimous consent last year. Durbin is also a cosponsor of the bipartisan Hong Kong Safe Harbor Act, which grants refugee status to Hong Kong residents at risk of persecution under the new China-imposed national security law.
“I have been moved by the courageousness of the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, as well as their allies in the U.S., in the face of increased repression and Chinese meddling. The Hong Kong protestors are fighting for the liberties we take for granted here at home – the freedom of assembly, suffrage, speech, due process, and the rule of law,” Durbin said. “During a time of intense partisanship, Congress came together on a bipartisan basis in support of the democratic aspirations of the broad majority of the people of Hong Kong, and I will continue pushing the leadership of China to allow the continued prosperous democratic autonomy enjoyed by the people of Hong Kong.”
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong's unique treatment under U.S. law. The legislation requires the Secretary of State to certify at least once a year that Hong Kong still retains enough autonomy to warrant the special U.S. trading consideration that bolsters its status as a world financial center. It also provides sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.
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