US Senate passes Hong Kong sanctions bill

Senate unanimously passed a bill Thursday that sanctions for imposing a new national security law on .

The bill, which cleared the House of Representatives floor Wednesday, is headed to US President Donald Trump for signing.

The legislation imposes sanctions on Chinese officials engaged in a crackdown on Hong Kong and as well as banks who conduct business with them.

Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania co-sponsored the bill with Senator Chris Van Hollen, a Maryland Democrat.

"We're going to hold the Beijing Communist Party leadership and their accomplices accountable for the erosion of these freedoms," said Toomey, according to USA TODAY.

The move comes after China passed a national security law Tuesday for Hong Kong to rein in the semi-autonomous region after months of protests last year.

The new security law prohibits acts of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces.

Wednesday morning saw more than 300 arrests of activists protesting the new law with demonstrations and raising pro-independence flags and banners.

Social media footage showed police firing pepper spray and tear gas.



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