Publisher's note: This informational nugget was sent to me by Ben Shapiro, who represents the Daily Wire, and since this is one of the most topical news events, it should be published on BCN.
The author of this post is Ashe Schow.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed three bills on Tuesday in support of Hong Kong protesters, prompting retaliation threats from China.
The Associated Press reported
that the bills were "approved on separate voice votes,"
and included some checks on China's intrusion into Hong Kong's semi-independence from the communist nation.
"One of the bills condemns China's intrusions into Hong Kong's affairs and supports the right of people to protest. Another requires annual reviews by the U.S. secretary of state of Hong Kong's special economic and trade status, providing a check on Beijing's influence over the territory. A third bill would ensure that U.S. weapons are not being used against protesters by police,"
the Press reported.
The bills received rare bipartisan support. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) took the bills' passing as an opportunity to stand up for human rights.
"If America does not speak out for human rights in China because of commercial interests, then we lose all moral authority to speak out on behalf of human rights any place in the world,"
she said, according to the Press.
Pelosi also praised the Hong Kong protesters, who are fighting for their freedom. The speaker called the Chinese government "cowardly" and condemned the country for failing to "respect the rule of law."
Hong Kong, a former British colony, was reunited with China in 1997, but "receives special treatment in matters of trade, customs, sanctions enforcement, law enforcement cooperation and more,"
the Press reported. This special treatment has also benefited China, Pelosi said, by allowing the communist country an opportunity to skirt U.S. sanctions.
The passage of the bills prompted swift condemnation from China. The Chinese foreign ministry released a statement
on Wednesday threatening "strong countermeasures." Bloomberg reported
that "Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang warned American lawmakers to stop meddling in China's internal affairs 'before falling off the edge of the cliff,' without specifying how it would retaliate."
He added that passing the bills "fully exposes the shocking hypocrisy of some in the U.S. on human rights and democracy and their malicious intention to undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability to contain China's development."
The House's action stands in stark contrast to the message being sent by the NBA and Blizzard Entertainment, both of which suffered scandals over the past week relating to the Hong Kong protests. Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted support for the protesters and was condemned by the NBA. Star player LeBron James said Morey "wasn't educated
" on the situation and suggested that he and his fellow basketball players were victims after widespread criticism of the NBA's associations with China.
Gaming company Blizzard Entertainment also found itself mired in scandal
after suspending a Hearthstone player for expressing support for Hong Kong. The player made the comments during a post-match interview with two Taiwan esports broadcasters. The broadcasters were initially fired by Blizzard for not stopping the player's remarks (though they hid behind their desk to avoid being associated with them), but their punishment was reduced to a six-month suspension. The player was initially suspended from tournaments for one year and had his prize winnings denied, but Blizzard later softened their position to a six-month suspension and allowed him to keep his winnings.