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Kinzinger, Malinowski Hong Kong Freedom Bill Passes House

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Washington, DC, December 8, 2020 | Maura Gillespie (202-225-3635) | comments
The House passed the Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ).
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WASHINGTON, DC – This week, the House passed the Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act of 2020, bipartisan legislation introduced by Congressmen Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) and Tom Malinowski (D-NJ). The measure would protect Hong Kongers facing persecution under the Chinese government’s tightening grip of repression and provide refuge in the United States to Hong Kongers targeted for exercising their democratic freedoms.

The legislation reflects the strong international consensus that the crackdown in Hong Kong by Beijing violates the rights of the territory’s residents and the treaty commitments of the People’s Republic of China. In response to these dramatic setbacks, the Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act of 2020 would ensure that the United States government:

  • Provides temporary refuge to Hong Kongers already in the US who fear persecution if forced to return;
  • Expedites processing of refugee applications for Hong Kongers fleeing persecution;
  • Continues to treat Hong Kongers as distinct from mainland China—despite the elimination of some autonomy for trade purposes; and
  • Develops a strategy with allies to coordinate international efforts to provide refuge to Hong Kong’s residents fleeing persecution.

“The United States will always stand for freedom, and throughout our history, we have looked out for those who seek a free and just society. When it comes to the people of Hong Kong, we know how brutal and oppressive the Chinese Communist Party has been and continues to be,” said Congressman Kinzinger. “I’m proud to see our legislation pass the House today, reaffirming our commitment to being the beacon of hope for freedom-seeking people around the world. I’m proud to know what we stand for is being put into action, helping Hong Kongers flee Communist persecution. This is an important step to make sure innocent men, women, and children do not need to live in fear under the heavy hand of the Chinese Communist Party.”

“Welcoming Hong Kongers to the United States is more than a humanitarian gesture — it’s a message to the Chinese government that if you crush Hong Kong, you may lose the very people who most contribute to its vitality,” said Congressman Malinowski. “It’s about fighting a closed and fearful system with the openness and self-confidence of ours.”

“HKDC applauds the House of Representatives for advancing the bipartisan Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act of 2020 and thanks Rep. Malinowski and Rep. Kinzinger for leading this urgent and tangible measure. Freedom-loving Hong Kongers need help and protection now. The threat activists face is real as illustrated by the harsh sentences against protest leaders Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam just last week and the ongoing case of the 12 Hong Kongers who attempted to escape to Taiwan on a boat due to their protest-related charges. Hong Kong has become the global frontline between the free world and Communist China. The US must live up to our values and be a refuge for those fleeing oppression while keeping pressure on those in power to liberate Hong Kong once again. We are all Hong Kongers now,” said Samuel Chu, Managing Director, HKDC (Hong Kong Democracy Council).

The full text of the bill can be found attached.

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