China’s communist regime has cracked down hard on the city of Hong Kong with a new “national security” law that has been condemned by both Republicans and Democrats in Washington — and even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is speaking up about it.
Speaking ahead of a House vote on a bill to penalize the communist nation, Speaker Pelosi blasted China for its actions in Hong Kong, which she says signal “the death of the one country, two systems principle,” as Politico reported.
“Beijing’s so-called national security law…signals the death of the one country, two systems principle,” Pelosi said at a House Foreign Services Committee hearing Wednesday, according to Politico. The House passed a bill condemning the move in a unanimous vote later that day, Politico reported.
According to Politico, the bill is now headed to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. The White House is similarly expected to approve the measure, which would reportedly impose sanctions on individuals and organizations, including banks, that have worked to enable Bejing’s new security legislation.
As Politico reported, the new measure comes on the heels of a previously withdrawn proposal that would have allowed Hong Kong residents to be charged and tried under mainland Chinese laws, which are far stricter than the laws in Hong Kong. That proposal sparked widespread protests that made headlines even in America.
But according to Politico, “experts say China’s new national security law will reach far beyond the extradition proposal, setting up parallel police and legal systems for the city that are loyal to Beijing and not accountable to local authorities” and allowing the Chinese government “to take ‘complete jurisdiction’ of legal cases and remove them from the Hong Kong legal system at the request of Communist Party officials.”
“Brutal, sweeping law”
In her remarks Wednesday, Pelosi made clear that won’t fly in Washington. “At that point, Hong Kong’s legal system simply does not apply,” she told the Foreign Services Committee of the new security measure, according to Politico. “The mainland Chinese criminal procedure will take over and the person will be prosecuted and tried under mainland law, presumably in the mainland.”
In a statement later that day, the speaker doubled down, saying “this brutal, sweeping law” is meant “to frighten, intimidate, and suppress Hong Kongers who are peacefully demanding the freedoms that were promised.”
“The United States Congress has always spoken with one voice in defense of those oppressed by Beijing and in support of freedom, justice, and real autonomy for the people of Hong Kong,” she added. “We must consider all tools available, including visa limitations and economic penalties.”
“One country, one system”
President Donald Trump, for his part, appears to be largely on the same page. In remarks in the White House Rose Garden in late May, when word of the new security law first came out, the president called China’s actions a “tragedy” for Hong Kong and he rest of the world.
“China has replaced its promised formula of ‘one country, two systems’ with ‘one country, one system,'” Trump said, according to a White House transcript. “Therefore, I am directing my administration to begin the process of eliminating policy exemptions that give Hong Kong different and special treatment.”
Looks like Trump is making good on his word once again.