Sep 29 2014
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement regarding the ongoing protests in Hong Kong:
“The people of Hong Kong want nothing more than what those in free countries around the globe have: the right to peacefully assemble, speak freely and choose their own leaders. The protesters have taken to the streets peacefully, with nothing more than umbrellas in hand. The security forces use tear gas and threaten greater force. They use police investigative powers to intimidate free press and those who support rights of free association. Meanwhile, the government in Beijing censors news and information about developments in Hong Kong to those on the mainland, going so far as to block social media sites such as Instagram.
“I wrote Secretary of State Kerry two weeks ago urging him to forcefully speak out on behalf of the citizens of Hong Kong. We must make clear that any violence against peaceful protesters will have significant consequences for U.S.-China relations. That is why I am disheartened that our Consulate General in Hong Kong would say that the U.S. does ‘not take sides in the discussion of Hong Kong’s political development.’
“America absolutely takes sides when confronted with right and wrong. It is longstanding U.S. policy, enshrined in the Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, to support democratization in Hong Kong and to support the human rights of the people of Hong Kong.
“America should be on the side of those in the street peacefully protesting for their fundamental freedoms. I again call on the Obama administration to make clear to China that it must abide by its international commitments regarding Hong Kong’s status and allow direct elections of Hong Kong’s chief executive.”