Hong Kong delegates are sounding the alarm as China threatens to impose its will through a new extradition bill—and Congress is concerned.
U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern told NTD reporters, “China’s insistence on this extradition agreement is very, very worrisome.”
“The idea of being able to extradite people out of Hong Kong is just the next sad and pathetic chapter,” U.S. Congressman Chris Smith said, reflecting on China’s insistence on spreading its influence outside its jurisdiction.
“Hong Kong was supposed to be an anonymous state for 50 years,” said U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho. “We’re 22 years into it—China’s already entered [the Hong Kong with] their influence; and now the extradition [bill]. Again, it shows you the intent of what China is doing.”
The U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission recently published a research report which points out that the extradition bill proposed by the Hong Kong government will increase the territory’s susceptibility to Beijing’s political coercion. It will also create serious risks for U.S. national security and economic interests in Hong Kong, the report says. The American business community has expressed concern too.
“I know a lot of U.S. businesses that are worried about it,” said U.S. Congressman Jim McGovern. “I know a lot of people who care about human rights are worried about it—I certainly am. I’ve also expressed my concerns to the American Chamber of Commerce, as well.”
Hong Kong barrister Martin Lee is heading up the delegation, which recently visited Canada and is in the United States this week. On tour, they met with officials of the Trump administration, members of Congress, and think tanks. They will also attend a congressional hearing on May 15th to explain the serious consequences of the proposed extradition bill.
U.S. Congressman Gerry Connolly said, “I think it has repercussions, because it certainly sends a message to others, including, especially Taiwan, that the word of the Chinese is not necessarily something to be trusted, and certainly not to be trusted permanently.”