Marco Rubio Calls for ‘Swift and Severe Consequences’ for China if it Punishes Hong Kong Protesters

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, weighed in on continued threats from the Chinese government against protesters in Hong Kong.

Rubio said the following:

The U.S. must make clear that China will face swift and severe consequences if Beijing carries out its threats of a violent crackdown with People’s Armed Police forces that are being pre-positioned near the city.

The administration should make clear that China would not be able to retain the advantages that Hong Kong provides Beijing, including by revoking Hong Kong’s special status under U.S. law, restricting China’s use of capital markets and access to currency funding through Hong Kong banks, and imposing Global Magnitsky Act sanctions and other measures against Chinese officials and their interests.

In light of recent actions, I am working to strengthen the bipartisan Hong Kong Human and Democracy Act that I introduced with Senators Cardin, Risch, and Menendez. I call on the Senate to act quickly on the important bill.

Beijing should know its escalating threats of violence against Hong Kong underscore why U.S. lawmakers in both parties must continue to reassess how we do business with China, how to respond more assertively to China’s atrocities in Xinjiang, and how to strengthen further support for Taiwan.

The Chinese government and party elites have used Hong Kong to circumvent export controls, access international capital markets, and launder money that fuels corruption abroad. Elite families also hide their wealth and family members there as insurance against intra-party conflict. Beijing must now choose between fully honoring its commitment to Hong Kong’s autonomy or suffering swift and severe consequences for its aggression.

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