The lower chamber of Congress took a step in support of the pro-democracy movement by passing a bill on October 15 that would require a yearly review of whether the city is sufficiently autonomous from Beijing in order to justify the special trading status under the US law. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is one of the four measures which the House passed using unanimous voice notes. On October 14, the Hong Kong protesters had waved the US flag while they flooded the streets in the city, asking US for help. However, after the US stood in support of the city, China threatened America to 'retaliate' if the US acts on the bill.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy bill which is now in US Senate and has to be signed by President Trump provides sanctions against the Hong Kong officials who are responsible for undermining fundamental freedoms and autonomy in the city. The US can now take diplomatic action along with economic sanctions against the Hong Kong government as a support to the demonstrators. Reportedly, a similar bill is also before the Senate, however, the timing of a vote there still remains uncertain. While this US move has also been viewed by the Chinese officials as gross interference. In addendum to that, after the demonstrators in Hong Kong gathered in the central district asking for support for the legislation, an official from the Hong Kong government expressed regret over the rally.
Following the passing of the bill in the US House, Beijing accused the American lawmakers of a political plot to halt the development in China. The Chinese officials also threatened the US to take unspecified “strong countermeasures” if this bill becomes a law. This can also be a sign of deepening the divide between the world's largest economies while there are different attempts to reach a trade deal. The bill is strongly viewed by Beijing as an interference in internal affairs and containment of the country's rise.
(With input from agencies)