The United States House of Representatives has today given the thumbs up on sanctions for Hong Kong, just 48 hours after Beijing passed its highly controversial security law.
The law in questions has been condemned around the world as removing the last vestiges of independence from the territory.
In its announcement the US House said that the sanctions passed would impose penalties on banks involved in business transactions with Chinese officials.
Passed unanimously the bill does still need to be approved by the US Senate and then President Trump.
“The law is a brutal, sweeping crackdown against the people of Hong Kong, intended to destroy the freedoms they were promised,” long term House speaker Nancy Pelosi said.
Her sentiments were echoed from across the Atlantic with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying the law is a “clear and serious breach” of the 1985 Sino-British joint declaration – an agreement that came into force in 1997 when Hong Kong was handed back to China, and that had guaranteed a range of freedoms for at least 50 years under the previous “one country, two systems” agreement.
In the past 24 hours, the UK has also offered residency, and in time, full British citizenship to around three million Hong Kongers according to London.
This offer drew criticism from China who threatened its now usual “corresponding measures” and later said by way of the Chinese Embassy in London that “If the British side makes unilateral changes to the relevant practice, it will breach its own position and pledges, as well as international law and basic norms.”