Hong Kong: Statement by the Chairs on the Fifth Anniversary of the Umbrella Movement Protests

September 27, 2019

(Washington)— U.S. Representative James McGovern (D-MA) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), the Chair and Cochair respectively of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC), today issued a joint statement on the fifth anniversary of the 2014 pro-democracy protests (“Umbrella Movement”) in Hong Kong.

“On the fifth anniversary of the Umbrella Movement, we are reminded of the accelerated erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy, human rights, and freedoms over the past five years. Hong Kong authorities have disqualified and removed pro-democracy legislators from office, imprisoned pro-democracy advocates, announced a new national anthem bill that would restrict free expression, and introduced a bill that would have put all residents of Hong Kong—including U.S. citizens—at risk of extradition to mainland China.

October 1st marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The senior leaders of the Chinese government and Communist Party and the Hong Kong government have an opportunity to start working toward genuine electoral reform in Hong Kong and restore trust and confidence in the Hong Kong government. We call on the Hong Kong government to make the selection of the Chief Executive and the election of all members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage a priority and take concrete steps to strengthen Hong Kong’s autonomy.

As Hong Kong approaches its 17th consecutive week of anti-extradition bill protests, we continue to stand with the people of Hong Kong. We urge the Hong Kong government to establish an independent commission of inquiry on police conduct as soon as possible. We call on the U.S. Administration to investigate reports of abuse in custody and issue resolute statements of support for human rights and democracy in Hong Kong. We also stand committed to swiftly passing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act in the U.S. Congress.”