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Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, Nov. 27, 2019
This measure amends the U.S.-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, establishing principles for the relationship between the U.S. and Hong Kong.
Summary - not part of the law, provided by the Congressional Research Service
This bill directs various departments to assess whether political developments in Hong Kong justify changing Hong Kong's unique treatment under U.S. law. (Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system.)
The Department of State shall report and certify annually to Congress as to whether Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous from China to justify its unique treatment. The report shall address issues including (1) demands for universal suffrage; (2) law enforcement cooperation, including extradition requests; (3) sanctions enforcement and export controls; (4) decision-making within the Hong Kong government; (5) judicial independence; (6) civil liberties in Hong Kong, including freedom of assembly and freedom of the press; and (7) how any erosion to Hong Kong's autonomy impacts areas of U.S.-Hong Kong cooperation.
The Department of Commerce shall report annually to Congress on China's efforts to use Hong Kong to evade U.S. export controls and sanctions and the extent of such violations occurring in Hong Kong generally. The report shall also (1) identify any items that were improperly reexported from Hong Kong, (2) assess whether dual-use items subject to U.S. export laws are being transshipped through Hong Kong, and (3) assess whether such dual-use items are being used to develop various mass-surveillance and predictive-policing tools or the social-credit system proposed for deployment in China.
If the President determines that Hong Kong has proposed or enacted legislation that puts U.S. citizens at risk of extradition to mainland China or to another country that lacks defendants' rights protections, the President shall report to Congress on (1) a strategy for protecting U.S. citizens and businesses in Hong Kong, and (2) whether Hong Kong is legally competent to administer various law-enforcement agreements between Hong Kong and the United States.
The State Department may not deny work- or student-visa applications from an otherwise qualified Hong Kong resident due to a politically motivated adverse action by the Hong Kong government against the applicant. The State Department shall encourage other democratic countries to take a similar approach. The President shall report to Congress a list of individuals responsible for committing acts that violate internationally recognized human rights in Hong Kong, including the extrajudicial rendition or torture of any person in Hong Kong. The bill bars such individuals from entering the United States and imposes sanctions on them.
Public Law 116-76
An Act To amend the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, and for other purposes.
(b) Table of Contents.
The table of contents for this Act is as follows:
Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Definitions.
Sec. 3. Statement of policy.
Sec. 4. Amendments to the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.
Sec. 5. Annual report on violations of United States export control laws and United Nations sanctions occurring in Hong Kong.
Sec. 6. Protecting United States citizens and others from rendition to the People's Republic of China.
Sec. 7. Sanctions relating to undermining fundamental freedoms and autonomy in Hong Kong.
Sec. 8. Sanctions reports.
Sec. 9. Sense of Congress on People's Republic of China state-controlled media.
Sec. 10. Sense of Congress on commercial exports of crowd control equipment to Hong Kong.
In this Act:
(1) Appropriate congressional committees.--The term ``appropriate congressional committees'' means--
(A) the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate;
(B) the Committee on Armed Services of the Senate;
(C) the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate;
(D) the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate;
(E) the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate;
(F) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives;
(G) the Committee on Armed Services of the House of Representatives;
(H) the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives;
(I) the Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives; and
(J) the Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives.
(B) use such data to monitor, shape, and rate certain financial, social, religious, or political behaviors.
(B) a lawfully admitted permanent resident of the United States; or (
C) an entity organized under the laws of-- (i) the United States; or (ii) any jurisdiction within the United States, including a foreign branch of such an entity.
(A) the United States has "a strong interest in the continued vitality, prosperity, and stability of Hong Kong'';
(B) "[s]upport for democratization is a fundamental principle of United States foreign policy'' and therefore "naturally applies to United States policy toward Hong Kong'';
(C) "the human rights of the people of Hong Kong are of great importance to the United States and are directly relevant to United States interests in Hong Kong [and] serve as a basis for Hong Kong's continued economic prosperity''; and
(D) Hong Kong must remain sufficiently autonomous from the People's Republic of China to ``justify treatment under a particular law of the United States, or any provision thereof, different from that accorded the People's Republic of China'';
(A) the Joint Declaration of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Government of the People's Republic of China on the Question of Hong Kong, done at Beijing December 19, 1984 (referred to in this Act as the ``Joint Declaration'');
(B) the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, done at New York December 19, 1966; and
(C) the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, done at Paris December 10, 1948;
"SEC. 205. <
"(a) Certification.-- "(1) In general.--Except as provided in subsection (b), the Secretary of State, on at least an annual basis, and in conjunction with the report required under section 301, shall issue a certification to Congress that-- "(A) indicates whether Hong Kong continues to warrant treatment under United States law in the same manner as United States laws were applied to Hong Kong before July 1, 1997; "(B) addresses-- "(i) commercial agreements; "(ii) law enforcement cooperation, including extradition requests; "(iii) sanctions enforcement; "(iv) export controls, and any other agreements and forms of exchange involving dual use, critical, or other sensitive technologies; "(v) any formal treaties or agreements between the United States and Hong Kong; "(vi) other areas of bilateral cooperation that the Secretary determines to be relevant; and "(vii) decision-making within the Government of Hong Kong, including executive, legislative, and judicial structures, including-- "(I) freedom of assembly; "(II) freedom of speech; "(III) freedom of expression; and "(IV) freedom of the press, including the Internet and social media; "(viii) universal suffrage, including the ultimate aim of the selection of the Chief Executive and all members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage; "(ix) judicial independence; ``(x) police and security functions; ``(xi) education; ``(xii) laws or regulations regarding treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China, or theft of state secrets; ``(xiii) laws or regulations regarding foreign political organizations or bodies; "(xiv) laws or regulations regarding political organizations; and ``(xv) other rights enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, done at Paris December 10, 1948, and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, done at New York December 19, 1966; and "(C) includes-- ``(i)
"(2) Factor for consideration.--In making each certification under paragraph (1), the Secretary of State should consider the terms, obligations, and expectations expressed in the Joint Declaration with respect to Hong Kong.
"(b) Waiver Authority.--
"(1) In general.--The Secretary of State may waive the application of subsection (a) if--
(b) Visa Applicants.--Title II of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 (22 U.S.C. 5721 et seq.), as amended by subsection (a), is further amended by adding at the end the following:
"(a) Visa Eligibility for Certain Hong Kong Students.-- Notwithstanding
"(b) Implementation.--The Secretary of State shall take such steps as may be necessary to ensure that consular officers are aware of the policy described in subsection (a) and receive appropriate training and support to ensure that the policy is carried out so that affected individuals do not face discrimination or unnecessary delay in the processing of their visa applications, including--
"(1) providing specialized training for all consular officers posted to the United States Embassy in Beijing or to any United States consulate in the People's Republic of China, the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, or the Macau Special Administrative Region;
"(c) Cooperation With Like-minded Countries.--The Secretary of State shall contact appropriate representatives of other democratic countries, particularly those who receive a large number of applicants for student and employment visas from Hong Kong--
"(1) to inform them of the United States policy regarding arrests for participation in nonviolent protests in Hong Kong; and
"(2) to encourage them to take similar steps to ensure the rights of nonviolent protesters are protected from discrimination due to the actions of the Government of Hong Kong and of the Government of the People's Republic of China.''.
(1) an assessment of the nature and extent of violations of United States export control and sanctions laws occurring in Hong Kong;
(2) to the extent possible, the identification of--
(A) any items that were reexported from Hong Kong in violation of the laws referred to in paragraph (1);
(B) the countries and persons to which the items referred to in subparagraph (A) were reexported; and
(C) how such items were used;
(3) an assessment of whether sensitive dual-use items subject to the export control laws of the United States are being--
(A) transshipped through Hong Kong; and
(B) used to develop-- (i) the Sharp Eyes, Skynet, Integrated Joint Operations Platform, or other systems of mass surveillance and predictive policing; or (ii) the "social credit system'' of the People's Republic of China;
(4) an assessment of the efforts by the Government of the People's Republic of China to use the status of Hong Kong as a separate customs territory to import items into the People's Republic of China from Hong Kong in violation of the export control laws of the United States, whether as part of the Greater Bay Area plan, through the assignment by Beijing of Hong Kong as a national technology and innovation center, or through other programs that may exploit Hong Kong as a conduit for controlled sensitive technology;
(5) an assessment of whether the Government of Hong Kong has adequately enforced sanctions imposed by the United Nations;
(6) a description of the types of goods and services transshipped or reexported through Hong Kong in violation of such sanctions to-- (A) North Korea or Iran; or (B) other countries, regimes, or persons subject to such sanctions for engaging in activities-- (i) relating to international terrorism, international narcotics trafficking, or the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; or (ii) that otherwise present a threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States; and
(7) an assessment of whether shortcomings in the enforcement of export controls or sanctions by the Government of Hong Kong necessitates the assignment of additional Department of the Treasury, Department of Commerce, or Department of State personnel to the United States Consulate in Hong Kong.
(3) the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate;
(4) the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives; and
(1) to safeguard United States citizens from extradition, rendition, or abduction to the People's Republic of China from Hong Kong for trial, detention, or any other purpose;
(2) to safeguard United States businesses in Hong Kong from economic coercion and intellectual property theft;
(3) pursuant to section 103(7) of the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992 (22 U.S.C. 5713(7)), to encourage United States businesses ``to continue to operate in Hong Kong, in accordance with applicable United States and Hong Kong law''; and
(4) pursuant to section 201(b) of such Act (22 U.S.C. 5721(b)), to evaluate, not less frequently than annually and as circumstances, dictate whether the Government of Hong Kong is ``legally competent to carry out its obligations'' under treaties and international agreements established between the United States and Hong Kong.
(a) Identification of Persons Responsible for Undermining Fundamental Freedoms and Autonomy in Hong Kong.--
(2), that identifies each foreign person that the President determines is responsible for--
(A) the extrajudicial rendition, arbitrary detention, or torture of any person in Hong Kong; or
(B) other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights in Hong Kong.
(2) Timing of reports.--The President shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees--
(A) the report required under paragraph (1)-- (i) not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act; and (ii)
(A) information provided jointly by the chairperson and ranking member of each of the appropriate congressional committees; and
(B) information obtained by other countries or reputable nongovernmental organizations that monitor violations of human rights abuses.
(4) Form.--The report required under paragraph (1) shall be submitted in unclassified form, but may include a classified annex. (b) Imposition of Sanctions.--The President shall impose the sanctions described in subsection (c) with respect to each foreign person identified in the report required under subsection (a)(1).
(c) Sanctions Described.--The sanctions described in this subsection are the following:
(1) Asset blocking.--The President shall exercise all of the powers granted to the President under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) to the extent necessary to block and prohibit all transactions in property and interests in property of a foreign person identified in the report required under subsection (a)(1) if such property and interests in property are in the United States, come within the United States, or come within the possession or control of a United States person.
(2) Ineligibility for visas, admission, or parole.--
(A) Visas, admission, or parole.--An alien described in subsection (a)(1) is-- (i) inadmissible to the United States; (ii) ineligible to receive a visa or other documentation to enter the United States; and (iii) otherwise ineligible to be admitted or paroled into the United States or to receive any other benefit under the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101 et seq.).
(B) Current visas revoked.-- (i) In general.--An alien described in subsection (a)(1) is subject to revocation of any visa or other entry documentation regardless of when the visa or other entry documentation is or was issued. (ii) Immediate effect.--A revocation under clause (i) shall-- (I) take effect immediately; and (II) automatically cancel any other valid visa or entry documentation that is in the alien's possession.
(f) Exceptions.-- (1) Exception for intelligence activities.--Sanctions under this section shall not apply to any activity subject to the reporting requirements under title V of the National Security Act of 1947 (50 U.S.C. 3091 et seq.) or any authorized intelligence activities of the United States.
(2) Exception to comply with international obligations and for law enforcement activities.--Sanctions under subsection (c)(2) shall not apply with respect to an alien if admitting or paroling the alien into the United States is necessary--
(A) to permit the United States to comply with the Agreement regarding the Headquarters of the United Nations, signed at Lake Success June 26, 1947, and entered into force November 21, 1947, between the United Nations and the United States, or other applicable international obligations; or (B) to carry out or assist law enforcement activity in the United States.
(A) In general.--The authorities and requirements to impose sanctions authorized under this section shall not include the authority or a requirement to impose sanctions on the importation of goods.
(B) Good defined.--In this paragraph, the term ``good'' means any article, natural or manmade substance, material, supply, or manufactured product, including inspection and test equipment, and excluding technical data.
(1) information exists that the person did not engage in the activity for which sanctions were imposed;
(2) the person has been prosecuted appropriately for the activity for which sanctions were imposed;
(3) the person has credibly demonstrated a significant change in behavior, has paid an appropriate consequence for the activity for which sanctions were imposed, and has credibly committed to not engage in an activity described in subsection (a)(1) in the future; or
(4) the termination of the sanctions is in the national security interests of the United States.
(h) Sunset.--This section, and any sanctions imposed under this section, shall terminate on the date that is 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act. (i) Definitions.--In this section: (1) Admission; admitted; alien.--The terms ``admission'', ``admitted'', and ``alien'' have the meanings given those terms in section 101 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101). (2) Foreign person.--The term ``foreign person'' means a person that is not a United States person.
(2) a description of the type of sanctions imposed with respect to each such person;
(3) the number of foreign persons with respect to which the President terminated sanctions under section 7 during that year;
(4) the dates on which such sanctions were imposed or terminated, as applicable;
(5) the reasons for imposing or terminating such sanctions; and
(6) a description of the efforts of the President to encourage the governments of other countries to impose sanctions that are similar to the sanctions authorized under section 7.
(b) Nonapplicability of Confidentiality Requirement With Respect to Visa Records.--
(1) the United States condemns the deliberate targeting and harassment of democracy activists, diplomatic personnel of the United States and other nations, and their families by media organizations controlled by the Government of the People's Republic of China, including Wen Wei Po and Ta Kung Po;
(2) the Secretary of State should clearly inform the Government of the People's Republic of China that the use of media outlets to spread disinformation or to intimidate and threaten its perceived enemies in Hong Kong or in other countries is unacceptable; and
(3) the Secretary of State should take any activities described in paragraph (1) or (2) into consideration when granting visas for travel and work in the United States to journalists from the People's Republic of China who are affiliated with any such media organizations.