On Sunday, September 8, a massive crowd of pro-democracy protesters marched to the U.S. Consulate General in Hong Kong seeking support from the U.S. Congress to pass H.R.3289 – Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019.
On June 13, 2019, the house bill was introduced by Rep. Smith, Christopher H. [R-NJ-4]. It has 21 co-sponsors and was “referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in addition to the Committees on the Judiciary, and Financial Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned.”
There is also related bill in the U.S. Senate, the S.1838 Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019, introduced on June 13, 2019 by Sen. Rubio, Marco [R-FL]. The bill with nine co-sponsors has been read twice and referred to the Foreign Committee on Foreign Relations (SFRC).
A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law. GovTrack gave the house bill a 20% chance of being enacted citing Skopos Labs (details); and the Senate bill a 41% chance of being enacted citing Skopos Labs (details).
As for the U.S. Consulate General, due to the unique status of the Hong Kong and Macau SARs under the “one country, two systems” frameworks, U.S. Consulate General Hong Kong and Macau reports directly to the State Department in Washington, D.C. It is not part of U.S. Mission China.
Post is currently headed by Consul General Hanscom Smith who assumed his duties as the Consul General representing the United States to Hong Kong and Macau in July, 2019. According to his bio, Mr. Smith is a career member of the Senior Foreign Service, most recently acting as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State responsible for China affairs. Mr. Smith previously served as Consul General in Shanghai and as Director of the Office of Chinese and Mongolian Affairs at the Department of State. His foreign languages are Mandarin Chinese, French, Danish, and Khmer.
Post’s Deputy Consul General is DCM Paul Horowitz, a career member of the U.S. Department of State Senior Foreign Service assumed his duties in June 2019. According to his bio, Mr. Horowitz has spent much of his career in East Asia, focused primarily on economic and trade issues, including assignments in Tokyo, Singapore, Beijing, and Hong Kong. He speaks Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese, and Bosnian.
▶️ Hong Kong police fired tear gas at protesters calling for help to bring democracy to the city at the U.S. Consulate, Sunday, September 8.
— The Voice of America (@VOANews) September 9, 2019
Thousands of protesters march to U.S. Consulate to demand the congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. #hongkongprotests #antielab #standwithhk #freehk pic.twitter.com/U7yQC6e5zO
— Jessie Pang (@JessiePang0125) September 8, 2019
Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong marched to the U.S. Consulate on Sunday in an effort to drum up support for American legislation that would penalize officials who suppress freedoms in the cityhttps://t.co/8d8wCVFaXg
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 8, 2019
The sounds of today’s renewed #HongKongProtests. A masked, black-clad #HongKong protestor drums while brandishing an American flag. Thousands of people are marching up, past the U.S. consulate asking the U.S. Congress to pass a human rights act to support them. @CBSNews is here. pic.twitter.com/EhPsr3Sf32
— Ramy Inocencio 英若明 (@RamyInocencio) September 8, 2019