Washington—Representative Eliot L. Engel, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today issued the following statement on China's threat to sanction U.S. non-governmental organizations in Hong Kong:

“The American and international organizations baselessly targeted by the Chinese government have a mandate to monitor human rights violations around the world. They carry out this mandate globally with distinction, having operated in Hong Kong legally and without incident for many years. These organizations existed long before the protests in Hong Kong and will remain long after – they are in no way responsible for ‘the current chaos in Hong Kong.’

“These protests in Hong Kong betray an inconvenient truth for Beijing: it is not enough for the Chinese government to provide improved living standards over time, people also have a right to a say in the governance of their affairs.

“The people of Hong Kong were promised that say in 1997, but Beijing has failed to deliver. That is the root of the problem here, not the monitoring activities of human rights promoters.

“America will remain steadfast in our support for the people of Hong Kong. We urge the Chinese Communist Party to refrain from taking further actions to malign or attack organizations to scapegoat their responsibility for the unrest in Hong Kong.

“We urge the Chinese government to refrain from falsely accusing American organizations of fomenting the unrest in Hong Kong. We also hope Chinese authorities will continue to allow U.S. naval visits to Hong Kong. The U.S. Navy’s presence has consistently contributed to peace and stability in the Western Pacific, including by upholding the international law of freedom of navigation. Regardless of China’s threats against the U.S., we will not waver in our resolve to support the people of Hong Kong, or our efforts to support human rights and human rights advocates around the world.”


On December 2, 2019 the Chinese government threatened several U.S. non-governmental organizations with operations in Hong Kong with unspecified sanctions and announced a prohibition on U.S. Navy visits to Hong Kong in retaliation for the enactment of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act last month.

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