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senate Bill S. 1824

Should the Secretary of State Report to Congress on How China Uses Hong Kong to Undermine the U.S.?

Argument in favor

China’s use of Hong Kong to undermine U.S. laws, including export controls and anti-extradition policies, is widely acknowledged by the international community. However, the extent to which China uses Hong Kong to achieve its ends isn’t sufficiently understood, and this bill rectifies this problem.

jimK's Opinion
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10/05/2019
Collecting intel and monitoring progress of US interests with regard to China’s actions generally are warranted. Central collection, consolidation and reporting is warranted- and I would be surprised this information is not already being collected. Hong Kong has a ‘contract’ with China regarding it’s political processes which, if infringed upon could have serious impact of Southeast Asian banking and world trade. China’s history of unfair practices and their impact on American interests should be monitored and considered by appropriate congressional committees.
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10/05/2019
Yes, and explain why Trump told China he would not interfere with what was going on in Hong Kong in exchange for dirt on Biden and Warren.
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Chris's Opinion
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10/05/2019
By all means - I’d love to know when the US starting supporting Xi over the interests of freedom fighters in Hong Kong.
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Argument opposed

Given the current tensions surrounding the China-Hong Kong extradition bill, now isn’t the right time for Congress to debate, much less enact, this bill. Congress shouldn’t try to prevent China from subjecting the people of Hong Kong to China’s legal system.

larubia's Opinion
···
10/05/2019
I don’t trust Pompeo to investigate anything related to China or Ukraine. He is part of the problem. Ted Cruz is stepping in feces with this bill. Just a note for Republicans: you might think you can wipe the crap off, but the stench remains. (& voters remember)
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Ronda 's Opinion
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10/05/2019
Pompeo’s corrupt. He lies. Also, Ted Cruz is a lying ass. He doesn’t care about the people of Hong Kong. Republicans are desperate for anything to distract from Trump’s criminality.
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NoHedges's Opinion
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07/06/2019
Pompeo wouldn’t know what to do with the truth if it slapped him in the face and then trampled him like an elephant. So.... When it comes to Hong Kong/China... Save the darn fungus. I am dead serious save the damn fungus. A fungus believed to have healing properties – and is more valuable than gold – is becoming harder to come by in the Kunlun mountains in western China. For people in those mountains, their living depends on finding the prized fungus, cordyceps. But researchers say that rising temperatures have made the fungus harder to grow in recent years. 💣Fungi will either kill us or cure us during the 6th extinction. I would much prefer if my grandkids have the “cure” option. So, please save the fungi.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Foreign Relations
    IntroducedJune 12th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 1824?

This bill — the Hong Kong Policy Re-evaluation Act of 2019 — would require the Secretary of State to submit a report to the appropriate Congressional committees on how the Chinese government uses Hong Kong to circumvent the laws of the U.S. This report would be due no later than 180 days after this bill’s enactment and would be submitted in unclassified form (but may include a classified index). The unclassified portion of the report would be posted on a publicly available State Dept. website.

The bill would include:

  • An assessment of how the Chinese government uses formal or informal means to extradite or coercively move foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, from Hong Kong to the Chinese mainland and a list of foreign nationals, including U.S. citizens, who have been formally or informally extradited or coercively moved from Hong to Kong to the PRC during the reporting period, in addition to a list of Chinese government officials engaged in such activities.
  • An assessment, developed by the Secretary of State in consultation with the Commerce Secretary, Homeland Security Secretary and the Director of National Intelligence, of: 1) how the Chinese government uses Hong Kong to circumvent U.S. export controls; 2) a list of all significant incidents in which the Chinese government used Hong Kong to circumvent export controls during the reporting period; and 3) a list of Chinese government officials engaged in these activities.
  • An assessment, developed by the Departments of Commerce, State, and Treasury of: 1) how the Chinese government uses Hong Kong to circumvent duties on merchandise imported into the U.S. from China; 2) a list of all significant incidents of the Chinese government using Hong Kong to circumvent export duties during the reporting period; and 3) a list of Chinese government officials engaged in these activities.
  • An assessment by the Departments of Homeland Security and Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) of: 1) how the Chinese government uses Hong Kong to circumvent sanctions imposed by the U.S. or pursuant to multilateral regimes; 2) a list of all significant incidents in which the Chinese government used Hong Kong to circumvent sanctions during the reporting period; and 3) a list of Chinese government officials engaged in these activities.
  • An assessment by the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State of: 1) How Chinese intelligence, security and law enforcement agencies, including the Ministry of State Security, Ministry of Public Security and the People’s Armed Police, use the Hong Kong Security Bureau and other security agencies in Hong Kong to conduct espionage on foreign nations, including U.S. citizens, conduct influence operations or violate civil liberties guaranteed under Hong Kong law; 2) a list of all significant incidents of espionage, influence operations, or violations of civil liberties during the reporting period; and 3) a list of Chinese government officials engaged in these activities.

Impact

U.S.-China relations- China; Hong Kong; Secretary of State; Secretary of Defense; Homeland Security Secretary; and the Director of National Intelligence.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 1824

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced this bill to amend the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 to require a report on how the People's Republic of China (RPC) exploits Hong Kong to circumvent U.S. laws. This bill was developed specifically in response to the PRC forcing a controversial extradition bill through the Hong Kong government that’d subject Hong Kong residents and foreign nations to extradition to China:

"The People's Republic of China has long exploited Hong Kong's special legal treatment under U.S. law. It uses Hong Kong's open economy to launder money, evade tariffs, break sanctions, and acquire sensitive intellectual property. The Chinese Communist Party of China encroaches on Hong Kong's autonomy, including by interfering in elections and pushing controversial legislation that endangers foreign nationals residing in Hong Kong. In the past week, we've seen the people of Hong Kong protesting and marching in the streets to fight back against the Communist Party's tyranny. If the Hong Kong government passes this dangerous extradition bill at the behest of Xi Jinping, the U.S. should reevaluate our policy toward Hong Kong. I am proud to introduce legislation with Senator Markey that would begin that process."

Original cosponsor Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA) adds that Hong Kongers’ rights are under threat when the Chinese government can extradite them to the Chinese mainland:

"Hong Kongers should be able to determine their future, but the implications of the extradition bill currently under consideration raise fears that their rights will be undermined. With Chinese influence and coercion on the rise in Hong Kong, we should be supporting the rights and freedoms of people there and around the world to govern themselves. I thank Senator Cruz for his partnership on legislation that will shine some light on growing Chinese government influence in Hong Kong.”

After the extradition bill passed and protests subsequently broke out in Hong Kong, Sens. Markey and Cruz introduced this bill. In response to the protests and the extradition bill’s passage, Sen. Cruz tweeted, “The people of Hong Kong are fighting against the tyranny of the Chinese Communist Party. For decades American policy has been built on assumption HK maintains autonomy from China & if the CCP forces this extradition law through America must reevaluate that policy. We can no longer allow the [Communist] Party to exploit HK's special treatment.”

State Dept. Spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said that the extradition bill hurts regional business interests and exposes U.S. citizens residing in or visiting Hong Kong to the capricious Chinese legal system:

“The United States shares the concern of many in Hong Kong that the lack of procedural protections in the proposed amendments could undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and negatively impact the territory’s long-standing protections of human rights, fundamental freedoms and democratic values as enshrined in the Basic Law and the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The continued erosion of the One Country Two Systems framework puts at risk Hong Kong’s long-established special status in international affairs.”

This bill has one cosponsor, Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA).


Of NoteAlthough Hong Kong is part of China, it has a separate legal system under a concept known as “one country, two systems.” The Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 was proposed by the Hong Kong government in February 2019 to allow the transfer of fugitives to jurisdictions with which Hong Kong doesn’t have an extradition deal (including the Chinese mainland, Taiwan and Macau). Officials said the bill had to be passed as soon as possible so a murder suspect, Chan Tong-kai, 20, who is wanted for his girlfriend’s murder, can be sent to Taiwan.

Normally, a legislative bill in Hong Kong needs to go through three separate readings to become law. After being tabled, it receives a preliminary debate in its second reading and is then adjourned to be referred to a bills committee for detailed examination. At the bills committee stage, officials and lawmakers vet proposed legislation on a clause-by-clause basis and make amendments to the original bill. The bill is then referred to the full council to resume the second reading and be debated. Finally, after a third reading, the bill is put to a vote. In order to become law, a bill needs a simple majority (35 votes).

Pursuant to this process, the Hong Kong government announced its intention to amend the extradition law in mid-February 2019 and formally introduced the bill in April. However, the extradition bill has been strenuously opposed by the pro-democracy camp, which successfully stalled the first two meetings on it and prevented the election of a committee chairman. In response to the pro-democracy camp’s maneuverings, the pro-government camp removed pan-democratic lawmaker James To Kun-sun from his position of presiding members and replaced him with pro-establishment lawmaker Abraham Razack. The legality of this move was challenged by pan-democrats and Andrew Wong Wang-fat, an expert on parliamentary rule and procedures. Their objections were based on the Legco secretariat’s involvement, as the Legco secretariat is supposed to remain neutral in legislative matters. Attempts to hold meetings on this issue in early May descended into chaos.

Both domestic and international critics expressed concerns that the mainland could exploit it to enable politically-motivated persecution and unfair trials on the mainland. Hong Kongers took to the streets to protest the bill in huge numbers, and international organizations weighed in against it. In a review of the bill before its passage, the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a Congressional agency, said in a May 2019 report that it would increase Hong Kong’s “susceptibility to Beijing’s political coercion and further erode Hong Kong’s autonomy.” Michael DeGolyer, an academic at the Baptist University of Hong Kong who has tracked Hong Kong’s transition to mainland Chinese rule, adds that Hong Kongers are particularly sensitive to issues involving judicial independence, which is seen as guaranteeing a measure of protection from the mainland government. In an email to Al Jazeera, he wrote:

“[The extradition] bill not only 'erodes' those protections; it places protection of those rights it only belatedly recognised as critically important to most Hong Kongers squarely within the hands of unelected bureaucrats who have so far manifested a rather poor record of being able or willing to resist pressure from Beijing.”

In response to those criticisms, Beijing’s foreign ministry spokesman, Geng Shuang, argues that no country, organization or person has the right to interfere with China’s domestic affairs. He says, “China strongly opposes the irresponsible and wrong remarks made by certain individuals in the U.S.

The Hong Kong government originally said it wouldn’t give in to protesters’ demands. Officials argued that apart from dealing with the murder Chan murder case, the extradition bill was also needed to plug the legal loophole allowing suspects to avoid extradition by hiding in Hong Kong. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive, Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (who was handpicked by Beijing to rule Hong Kong), originally said, “If radical and violent means can achieve their aims, these scenes would only get worse, and definitely bring harm to Hong Kong. So I hope that order can be restored in the society as soon as possible, and I don’t want any more people to be injured in the riot.”

However, the Hong Kong government eventually indefinitely tabled the extradition bill. On June 17, 2019, Lam offered a “sincere and solemn” apology for allowing the proposal to progress as far as it had. However, she resisted calls for her resignation, the withdrawal of the extradition law and an apology for police brutality and describing one protest as a riot. Instead, she said she wouldn’t resign, insisted that the extradition bill be left on the books until it expires in just over a year and said only that protestors who hadn’t used violence needn’t worry about rioting charges. However, Lam also added that it’s “very unlikely” the government will pass the extradition bill before the current legislative session expires next year, and that the government would “accept the reality” should that come to pass.

In response to Lam’s speech, protest organizers expressed disappointment at her refusal to resign and announced plans to meet to decide on further action. Joshua Wong, a prominent pro-democracy activist who served one month of a two month sentence related to protests in 2014 and was released on June 17, said, “When one million people marched at least we got a suspension, when two million people marched all we got is a sorry. How many people does she want to drive to the streets?" Abi, a 20-year-old protester interviewed by the BBC, called Lam’s apology “insincere” and said, “I still maintain that [Lam] should stand down. If she's asking for a second chance she should at least show that she's deserving of it, by withdrawing the bill amendments completely. We have no trust in her."


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Nikada)

AKA

Hong Kong Policy Reevaluation Act of 2019

Official Title

A bill to amend the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 to require a report on how the People's Republic of China exploits Hong Kong to circumvent the laws of the United States.

    Collecting intel and monitoring progress of US interests with regard to China’s actions generally are warranted. Central collection, consolidation and reporting is warranted- and I would be surprised this information is not already being collected. Hong Kong has a ‘contract’ with China regarding it’s political processes which, if infringed upon could have serious impact of Southeast Asian banking and world trade. China’s history of unfair practices and their impact on American interests should be monitored and considered by appropriate congressional committees.
    Like (65)
    Follow
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    I don’t trust Pompeo to investigate anything related to China or Ukraine. He is part of the problem. Ted Cruz is stepping in feces with this bill. Just a note for Republicans: you might think you can wipe the crap off, but the stench remains. (& voters remember)
    Like (25)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes, and explain why Trump told China he would not interfere with what was going on in Hong Kong in exchange for dirt on Biden and Warren.
    Like (34)
    Follow
    Share
    By all means - I’d love to know when the US starting supporting Xi over the interests of freedom fighters in Hong Kong.
    Like (18)
    Follow
    Share
    Pompeo’s corrupt. He lies. Also, Ted Cruz is a lying ass. He doesn’t care about the people of Hong Kong. Republicans are desperate for anything to distract from Trump’s criminality.
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Pompeo wouldn’t know what to do with the truth if it slapped him in the face and then trampled him like an elephant. So.... When it comes to Hong Kong/China... Save the darn fungus. I am dead serious save the damn fungus. A fungus believed to have healing properties – and is more valuable than gold – is becoming harder to come by in the Kunlun mountains in western China. For people in those mountains, their living depends on finding the prized fungus, cordyceps. But researchers say that rising temperatures have made the fungus harder to grow in recent years. 💣Fungi will either kill us or cure us during the 6th extinction. I would much prefer if my grandkids have the “cure” option. So, please save the fungi.
    Like (12)
    Follow
    Share
    Yes! This report would be very useful for the determination of Hong Kong's place in the World Community. However, Hong Kong may no longer be viable after Mainland China is finished with its absorption into a unified China. Taiwan is next.
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    👉👉SCHIFF secretly communicated with the WhistleBlower Prior to the formal application. DNC TRAITORS!!! 👉👉Impeachment is a corrupt DNC set up- as Russia didn’t work!!! DNC SCUM 👉👉Countable- Heavy Progressive Bias.
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    This seems like it’s a propaganda effort? I would be suspicious about the true intent of this ...
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    The State Dept with a lawbreaker in charge is corrupt. Pompeo needs to be thrown in jail for contempt of Congress. Once this administration is removed then we can re-examine this bill.
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    It’s another chance to take away from impeachment and immigration! Look at sponsor Ted Cruz!!
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    Absolutely!!!! This administration isn’t behaving like a government should. It needs to start doing the work of this Nation for the good of the People instead of the good of one person, who doesn’t even know how to behave like a President, let alone the President of the United States of America. The corrupt Secretary of State needs to start behaving like the Secretary of State for the United States 🇺🇸 of America instead of Donald Trump’s WaterBoy and start doing the job. China has long been trying to find ways to subjugate Hong Kong to Communism. One of the jobs of the Sec. of St., is to keep the Prez informed of the sneaky things our Foes, like China, do to their People. “The moral test of government is how that government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.” Spoken by former Vice President, Hubert Humphrey at the dedication of a building named after him in Washington DC, November 1, 1977. THAT’S how our government USED TO BE. That’s the goal we need to remember is how we WANT TO BE - AGAIN.
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    Enough with the looking everywhere else for corruption. Try the mirror.
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    Only the Senate. The House is compromised.
    Like (5)
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    YES! Make Pompeo do his required work rather than scurrying around as the eyes of personal interests of 45.
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    Yes. We need to know but also take actions
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    Such a report can be written but it won’t be of any use. Pompeo and the rest of the Trump Administration are going to oppose the best interests of the United States anyway. It’s what they signed on for.
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    But——will Pompeo report the Truth? That’s our problem.
    Like (4)
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    Trump tricks. Deny & lie😡😢😡
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    This is all politics, smoke and mirrors. We should be supporting democracy in Hong Kong and around the world.
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