The new national security bill that penalises secession, subversion and terrorism in the special administrative region was adopted by Chinese lawmakers and signed by President Xi Jinping on 30 June.
The US Senate passed a bill on Tuesday sanctioning banks that do business with those Chinese officials who implement Beijing’s new national security law on Hong Kong, sending it to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.
“The United States must stand with the people of Hong Kong and that’s what this bill says. This bill says we stand with the people of Hong Kong,” Senator Chris Van Hollen, one of the leading sponsors of the legislation, said ahead of the vote.
Senator Pat Toomey stated that by passing the legislation, “the US Senate makes clear which side we are on”.
The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate a day after the House of Representatives also passed it without opposition.
On 30 June, China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) voted unanimously in support of the new national security law for Hong Kong.
The new law bans secessionist, subversive, and terrorist activities, as well as any form of foreign interference in Hong Kong, which previously received special accommodation from the US.
The legislation has been criticised by a number of states. On Wednesday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that the recent enactment of China’s National Security Law is a clear violation of the Joint Declaration on Hong Kong.
The prime minister stated that the UK would introduce a new route for those with British National Overseas Status to enter the country, granting them limited leave to remain, with the ability to live and work in the UK and thereafter to apply for citizenship.
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated earlier on Thursday that the country is “actively considering” offering safe haven to Hong Kong residents following the enactment of the law on national security.