Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam finally spoke on the United States legislation passing the Human Rights and Democracy Act in support of the anti-government protesters on December 3 and said it was 'wholly unnecessary'. Lam said that the recent step by US might cause damage to the business confidence in the financial hub and announced the fourth round of relief measures to boost the city's degraded economy. As the former British colony tackles the months-long unrest along with its first recession in a decade, Lam said that she 'strongly objected' the US law.
President of US Donald Trump signed the act into law on November 28 which would require a yearly review of whether the city is sufficiently autonomous from Beijing in order to justify the special trading status. The US can now take diplomatic action along with economic sanctions against the Hong Kong government as a support to the demonstrators. However, Lam feels that this law's impact is directly on the confidence shared with Washington because the corporates will always be worried about the potential actions that the US government can take against them after they review this legislation.
Even though Carrie has not yet specified what additional measures the city's government is taking in order to boost the crippling economy and said that the details would be announced in the near-term. China has also criticised US legislation saying it would no longer allow the US navy ships to visit Hong Kong. Furthermore, Beijing also pledged to impose sanctions on four US-based non-governmental organisations including the Human Rights Watch and Freedom House because Washington stood in the violent protests in Hong Kong. In respect to the decisions made by the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Lam said that it was Beijing's matter.
It has been nearly six months since unrest has prevailed in Hong Kong against the government. It has also created the biggest challenge to Chinese stability since the pro-democracy protests in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989. The demonstrators demand universal suffrage, along with an investigation to be launched into the alleged police brutality in handling the protests. The protesters also want the Hong Kong government to deliver the democratic freedom promised when the city was handed back to China in 1997 under 'one country, two systems'.