What Happened: The U.S. House Representatives has passed legislation in support of the ongoing Hong Kong protests, which mandates an annual review of the city's autonomous status from China's central government to maintain its special trade status with the United States, Bloomberg reported Oct. 15. The bill will now move to the U.S. Senate, but could still face a veto by President Donald Trump.
Why It Matters: The bill has significant bipartisan support and is expected to pass the Senate without much resistance, although the Trump administration has been hesitant regarding its support for the legislation. The bill could jeopardize Hong Kong's role as a financial hub if used to revoke the city's special trade status. But Washington is more likely to instead use the legislation as a bargaining chip against the Chinese government.
Background: Protests in Hong Kong have entered their 19th straight week despite an escalated crackdown by security forces and political concessions.
- In Hong Kong, Beijing Will Choose Chinese Sovereignty (Oct. 10, 2019)
- Hong Kong Is Set to Pull the Masks off Protesters (Oct. 3, 2019)
- The Hong Kong Protests Keep Escalating. Here's What We're Watching. (Oct. 2, 2019)