U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, teamed up with members of Congress on Monday to issue a joint statement in response to the Chinese government’s decision to schedule a March 11 vote in the National People’s Congress that would impose new restrictions on Hong Kong’s electoral system.
Rubio, U.S. Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Jeff Merkley, D-Oreg., and Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and U.S. Reps Ami Bera, D-Calif., Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, James McGovern, D-Mass., and Chris Smith, R-NJ, released the following statement:
“We are deeply concerned by the changes that Beijing adopted to Hong Kong’s electoral system. These revisions will only continue to advance Beijing’s ever-tightening grip on Hong Kongers’ autonomy, basic freedoms, and fundamental human rights.
“With these actions, the Chinese government is doubling down on its attempts to impose an authoritarian system on Hong Kong. Beijing is once again violating its binding international commitments under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and Hong Kong’s Basic Law. Contrary to recent Chinese government statements, true patriots are not ‘yes-men.’ Beijing’s efforts to stamp out democratic opposition in Hong Kong only underscores its own insecurities.
“As members of Congress, we will continue to speak with one voice in support of freedom, democracy, and justice for the people of Hong Kong. In the past two years, Congress has passed legislation giving the executive branch significant and new tools to support the people of Hong Kong as they defend their autonomy and basic freedoms. We urge the Biden administration to use those tools, and to work with allies and partners to develop other mechanisms to support the people of Hong Kong.”