Hong Kong leader's annual address thwarted by protesters disrupting chamber

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks at a news conference to unveil the College Affordability Act on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday Oct

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. speaks at a news conference to unveil the College Affordability Act on Capitol Hill in Washington Tuesday Oct

One of the measures, the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, would require the US secretary of state to certify every year that Hong Kong retained its autonomy in order to keep receiving the special treatment that has allowed it to be a major financial centre.

Pro-Beijing legislator Regina Ip said the American politicians were seeking to "interfere mostly in the domestic affairs of Hong Kong and to promote the political interests of their proxies in Hong Kong". Beijing argues that the bill represents unacceptable foreign interference in a domestic matter.

In an interview with Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper, Susan Thornton, a former USA senior diplomat for East Asia, said the bills' passage would be a "huge mistake" that would harm "exactly the wrong people".

The bill includes a waiver the president can use if he or she determines that Hong Kong is no longer autonomous but that it would not be in USA interests to revoke its special trade status. "The real issue is to promptly end violence, restore order and safeguard the rule of law".

A number of would-be district election candidates, including Joshua Wong, are now being questioned about their political views, amid concerns that their candidacies will be rejected before the elections even take place.

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Hong Kong's unrest was ignited by an extradition bill, which could have seen residents sent to Communist Party-controlled mainland courts for trial.

Since Hong Kong returned to China, under the "One country, two systems" principle, HKSAR citizens have enjoyed stability, progress, respect for human rights and a high degree of autonomy recognized universally, the text notes.

Seventy-two percent of those polled said the use of force by police was "excessive", while 75 percent said the government hadn't done enough to resolve the situation. Lam has said the bill has been withdrawn, but the suspension of the legislature meant it could not be formally dropped.

WASHINGTON-The US House of Representatives on Tuesday passed four pieces of legislation taking a hard line on China-three related to pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and one commending Canada in its dispute over the extradition of a Chinese telecom executive.

A demonstrator holds an umbrella during a rally in support of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on October 14, 2019 in Hong Kong, China.

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"The real problem has been the USA veiled intentions: to first stir the pot, and thereafter to fan the flames of protest by providing oxygen to the worst political and militant elements within the protest movement", he said.

"China will definitely take strong countermeasures in response to the wrong decisions by the US side to defend its sovereignty, security and development interests", he added.

Reinforcing that criticism, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang stressed Beijing's indignation over Congress' move and promised unspecified countermeasures.

Forget the new initiatives that she announced-the promise of 10,000 transitional homes for the grassroots and the soberly delivered pledges to relax restrictions on loans for home mortgages, bolster land supply, enhance transport subsidies and increase spending on welfare and health care as Hong Kong faces its 19th consecutive week of political turmoil and violent street protests in the midst of what is being called "a technical recession". "Therefore, people in Hong Kong know that they can not get enough payment because Hong Kong is losing compatibility with other Chinese cities like Shanghai", said Haiyun, who teaches in Maryland-based Frostburg State University. The legislation also gives the administration the flexibility in determining whether to end some or all of Hong Kong's special privileges under USA law, which are formalized under the 1992 Hong Kong Policy Act.

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