US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019” (the “Act”), reaffirming and amending the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.
The Act allows sanctions to be imposed on individuals undermining fundamental freedoms and autonomy in Hong Kong. The president is authorized under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act to block and prohibit all transactions of these individuals related to property and interests in property present in the United States. Such individuals would also be ineligible for visas, admission and parole.
The Act also provides terms to terminate sanctions where individuals credibly demonstrate a “significant change in behavior, [have] paid an appropriate consequence for the activity for which sanctions were imposed, and [have] credibly committed to not engage in an activity” that undermines fundamental freedoms and autonomy of Hong Kong in the future.
“I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong,” said President Trump in a statement. “They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.”