Trump signs bills on Hong Kong human rights

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US President Donald Trump has signed two bills aimed at supporting human rights and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.

The bills were approved last week by near unanimous consent in the House and Senate.

President Trump is expressed some concerns about complicating the effort to work out a trade deal with China’s President Xi Jinping.

He said he “signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong.”

He adds that he hopes “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.”

President Trump has tried to balance the support to Hong Kong protests and the trade deal the United States has been negotiating with Beijing.

Trump told “Fox & Friends” last week: --“I stand with Hong Kong. I stand with freedom. I stand with all of the things that we want to do,”

Meanwhile, Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters formed a rally Thursday night to celebrate the US signing the Human Rights and Democracy Act into law.

Waving US flags, thousands crowded a public square in central Hong Kong for a “Thanksgiving” rally to thank the United States for passing two Hong Kong laws and urged other countries to follow suit.

Rally organiser Ventus Lau urged the US to swiftly implement the laws and penalize police and government officials who suppressed democracy.

The newly signed law allows U.S. officials to impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who are accused of committing human rights abuses in Hong Kong.

It would also require the State Department provide an annual report to lawmakers on whether Hong Kong remains “sufficiently autonomous” from China.

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