Trump signs a law in support of the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong against Beijing

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a bill supporting the pro-democracy camp in Hong Kong, a move that could anger Beijing, which is conducting sensitive trade negotiations with Washington.

Trump wrote in a statement released by the White House that he had signed the bill on human rights and democracy in Hong Kong.

Trump seemed reluctant to sign, but found little room for maneuver, as the bill had previously received almost unanimous US Congress support and needed only the president’s signature to become law.

In the statement, Trump spoke of “respect” for Chinese President Xi Jinping, saying he hoped that “leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong can settle their differences amicably.”

China on Thursday accused the United States of seeking to “destroy” Hong Kong and threatened to retaliate after the US Congress passed a bill supporting the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong six months ago.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Thursday that the passage of the Human Rights and Democracy Act of Hong Kong “encourages violent criminals” which China blames for aggravating the unrest and says it aims to “create chaos and even destroy Hong Kong.”

Trump’s bill supports abstention from arbitrary detention and imposes sanctions on those who violate these principles.

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Hong Kong’s movement began nearly six months ago in protest at a bill allowing extradition to China, raising fears that Beijing is seeking to curb the city’s freedoms.

Millions of angry citizens took to the streets and blocked the Harak transport network, which has widened to demand fair elections and an investigation into violent police practice, demands rejected by Beijing-appointed Hong Kong leaders.

The movement recently focused on the campus of the Polytechnic University in Hong Kong, and was marred by violent clashes between police who fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters who responded with arrows and throwing Molotov cocktails.

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