Representative Malinowski Introduces the Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act
(Washington, DC) Today, Representative Tom Malinowski (NJ-7) along with Representative Adam Kinzinger (IL-16) introduced the Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act, bipartisan legislation to protect Hong Kongers facing persecution under the Chinese government’s national security legislation while imposing costs on Beijing for any deepening repression under this new law. The bill is cosponsored by Representatives Dean Phillips (MN-3), John Curtis (UT-3), Alan Lowenthal (CA-47), and James McGovern (MA-2). You can find the the text of the legislation here.
This bill signals to Beijing that Hong Kongers have a choice. By providing a fast path to the United States for Hong Kong’s entrepreneurs, scientists, and academics, this bill puts the Chinese Communist Party on notice that if the crackdown on rights in Hong Kong deepens, they risk losing the very people who have built Hong Kong’s economic success.
The Hong Kong People’s Freedom and Choice Act would:
- Ensure that the United States Government continues to treat Hong Kongers as distinct from mainland China—despite the elimination of some autonomy for trade purposes
- Provide expedited admission for Hong Kong’s high-skill community --including those with graduate degrees, and those owning businesses with more than 50 employees -- in recognition of ongoing US-China strategic competition for human capital
- Expedite residency for Hong Kongers who have fled to or found refuge in the United States—replicating the law used by George H.W. Bush to protect Chinese students in the US during the Tiananmen crackdown
Congressman Malinowski also joined Congressman John Curtis today in introducing separate legislation to grant expedited refugee status to Hong Kong residents who may personally face a credible fear of persecution, and exclude Hong Kongers from the extremely low annual limit on refugee admissions currently imposed by the Department of State.
“The national security law that the Chinese government is imposing on Hong Kong threatens the human rights of its people and violates China’s commitments to the world. This bill sends a clear message to Beijing: if you suffocate Hong Kong’s freedom, you will lose its wealth and talent to the United States, and your loss will be our gain,” said Representative Malinowski.
“Throughout history, from Iran to the Soviet Union, the United States has looked out for persecuted populations looking for basic human freedoms. With the recently enacted National Security Law in Hong Kong, the Chinese Communist Party has shown their true colors as they ignore international agreements and suffocate the freedoms of millions”, said Representative Adam Kinzinger. “I‘m proud to have worked on this important bipartisan legislation with my colleague Congressman Malinowski, and I look forward to moving this legislation forward. While more needs to be done, these actions are a clear first step at ensuring innocent men, women, and children do not need to live in fear under the hand of this communist regime.”
“The new national security law for Hong Kong, as outlined by the CCP, is no ‘law’ at all. The draft outlines a grim new reality where the CCP alone will serve as the spy, police, judge, warden, and executioner – all in one. HKDC applauds and support Congress taking steps to ensure that the US will be a refuge for Hong Kong protesters – as they continue to risk everything in defense of their way of life. Rep. Malinowski’s bill is a natural extension of US’ commitment to safeguard Hong Kong’s freedoms and autonomy. Even if Beijing is not holding up their end of the bargain, America will always keep its promise to Hong Kongers,” said Samuel Chu, Managing Director, HKDC (Hong Kong Democracy Council)
“The announced National Security Law in Hong Kong says that it will only be used in very ‘specific circumstances’ and over ‘only a small number of cases.’ But these are lies. If the law passes, the new National Security Bureau will arrest Hong Kongers without notifying the Hong Kong government and public. Protesters will face arrests, extradition to China, secret trials and even torture. The world must act to rescue Hong Kong protesters who will face imprisonment or even death,” said Wang Dan (王丹), Student leader who was arrested and jailed for his role in the Tiananmen Square protest in 1989. A political prisoner in China, Wang has lived and continued his activism for a democratic China in the US since 1998.