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Republican and Democratic US senators said on Thursday they would introduce legislation to impose sanctions on Chinese officials for violating Hong Kong's independence, after Beijing moved to impose a new security law on the former British colony.
The bill, to be introduced by Republican Senator Pat Toomey and Democrat Chris Van Hollen, would also impose secondary sanctions on banks that do business with entities found to violate the law guaranteeing Hong Kong's autonomy.
A Chinese official said on Thursday that China is set to impose new national security legislation on Hong Kong after last year's pro-democracy unrest, drawing a warning from President Donald Trump that Washington would react "very strongly."
"This bipartisan legislation will impose serious penalties on those working to strip Hong Kong of its autonomy," Van Hollen said in a statement.
Members of Congress from both parties have been taking a more aggressive tone on China as President Donald Trump has ramped up a war of words with Beijing over responsibility for the global coronavirus pandemic.
China suspended US warship visits and sanctioned American NGOs on Monday in retaliation for the passage of a bill backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. The financial hub has been rocked by nearly six months
Heated debate over the bill — the latest spark of anti-government unrest in the semi-autonomous city — saw lawmakers removed in chaotic scenes from the Legislative Council which was then adjourned.
China's parliament is expected to approve a proposed security law that would reduce Hong Kong's separate legal status on Thursday, calling into question the special economic status the territory currently enjoys under US law.
The US actions are part of what critics see as an effort by the Trump administration to put in place high-pressure tactics toward Beijing that could make it more difficult for President-elect Joe Biden to steady relations.
The Dubai Criminal Court sentenced a gang of 12 Africans to three years in jail to be followed by deportation and fined them Dhs2 million and $1,000 or equivalent amount in local currency on theft charges.
“We tell them we will not give you money until you train our children. Foreigners are not all the society; there are our young people and children who should be the priorities of these clubs. We will inspect the clubs to monitor what is happening inside," he added.
France's Pierre Agostini, Hungarian-Austrian Ferenc Krausz and French-Swedish Anne L'Huillier won the Nobel prize in physics on Tuesday for research using ultra quick light flashes that enable the study of electrons inside atoms and molecules.