In response to the disappearance of five Hong Kong booksellers in 2015, the United States Congress will soon introduce a human rights act on Hong Kong, reported the South China Morning Post.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio — a co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China — confirmed news of the impending act.
“I look forward to reintroducing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the coming days,” Rubio said in an email Jan. 17.
“America must show leadership and support these values in our foreign policy,” he said.
The bill was proposed following the kidnapping of five booksellers in 2015 who published books highly critical of China’s leadership. One of those disappeared from his condo in Thailand.
The five later turned up on the mainland where they were detained by Chinese authorities.
The act is believed to allow the U.S. to apply punitive measures against any government officials in Hong Kong or the mainland held accountable for the quashing of basic freedoms in the Special Administrative Region.