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ICYMI: Rubio, Smith: Crack Down on Hostile Hong Kong Outposts

Dec 11, 2023 | Comunicados de Prensa

It’s Time to Remove Hostile Chinese Outposts

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and U.S. Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ)

December 11, 2023

RealClear World

…The United States is home to three HKETOs [Hong Kong Economic and Trade Offices], all of which enjoy diplomatic privileges and immunities. These were granted under the assumption that Hong Kong would remain free from communist rule. But three years after China imposed the National Security Law on Hong Kong, we must deal with a new reality….

Today, Hong Kong unjustly detains political prisoners at a rate only surpassed by a handful of authoritarian countries, such as Belarus, Cuba, and Burma…. Hong Kong’s political prisoners include dozens of pro-democracy leaders…. [T]hey are just ordinary men and women, whose only “crime” is standing up to the CCP.

The HKETOs are complicit in persecuting them. The offices serve Beijing’s propaganda arm in the United States, defending communist oppression and obscuring the truth. In addition, they help the CCP track exiled Hong Kong activists in our country….

The United States should not be granting diplomatic privileges and immunities to a network of communist spies. This is why we worked with our colleagues…, Representative Jim McGovern and Senator Jeff Merkley, to introduce the HKETO Certification Act…. [It’s] a common-sense and bipartisan bill that would remove those privileges and immunities and—so long as the HKETOs remain in operation—ban federal agencies from cooperating in their propaganda efforts and human rights violations….

Our bill passed the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations this July. It passed a similar hurdle in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week. We urge Congress to get it to President Biden’s desk as soon as possible….

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