President Trump has made it clear that he would like to bring everything to the negotiating table when it comes to China – trade, the One China Policy and now human rights in Hong Kong. While being part of mainland China, Hong Kong, is known as being a Special Administrative Region. What this means is that while it is not directly governed by China, it is indirectly as China has a strong influence on the selection of candidates for the top job of Chief Executive in Hong Kong.
Over the past few years China has been getting more involved in Hong Kong local politics and social issues. This has led to widespread protests. Last year five booksellers went missing in Causeway bay, Hong Kong, and were only found a few months later in China. These booksellers sold books which portrayed China in a negative light and hence were perceived as a threat to China. This direct interference in Hong Kong has led to apprehension both within Hong Kong and the international community as to what lies ahead for Hong Kong.
In response to this, Republican Senator Marco Rubio, a co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China, announced that the US would be introducing the Hong Kong Democracy and Human Rights Act in the coming days to support the foreign policy of the new administration. Under this law the government of the United States can identify and freeze the US assets of anyone who threatens the basic freedoms of the press in Hong Kong or Hong Kong people in general.