Activists push U.S. Congress to pass Hong Kong bill


Hong Kong pro-democracy activists testified before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) on Capitol Hill Tuesday (September 17), urging U.S. lawmakers to pass legislation to combat human rights abuses in the city.

Joshua Wong, secretary-general of Hong Kong's pro-democracy Demosisto party and leader of the "Umbrella Movement," described police brutality and said Beijing was benefiting from Hong Kong's special economic status while denying "our freedom."

"This is not a plea for so-called foreign interference. This is a plea for democracy," singer and activist Denise Ho told the CECC hearing.

Legislation was introduced in the Senate and House earlier this year that would require an annual review of the special treatment Washington gives Hong Kong, including trade and business privileges, under the U.S. Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.

The legislation has not yet come up for a vote but the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees are both holding hearings this week - separate from the executive commission's session - expected to address U.S. relations with China on issues including Hong Kong.