WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT), Ranking Member of the East Asia Subcommittee on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, joined Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Chairman of the East Asia Subcommittee on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Representative Ami Bera, M.D. (D-CA), Chairman of the Asia Subcommittee on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Steve Chabot (R-OH), Ranking Member of the Asia Subcommittee on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Representative James McGovern (D-MA), co-Chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, and Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ), co-Ranking Members of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, in issuing the following 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.
“We are deeply concerned by the changes Beijing announced 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 planned actions, the Chinese Communist Party 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 its obligations under Hong Kong’s Basic Law. Contrary to recent Chinese government statements, true patriots are not ‘yes-men’ and -women. Beijing’s efforts to stamp out democratic opposition in Hong Kong only underscores its own insecurities.
“Congress 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, we passed legislation giving the executive branch significant 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.”