Hong Kong leader warns of harm to U.S. interests

Demonstrators hold up signs in support of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey during a rally at the Southorn Playground in Hong Kong Tuesday

Demonstrators hold up signs in support of Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey during a rally at the Southorn Playground in Hong Kong Tuesday

Hong Kong's Beijing-appointed leader who has been the target of protesters' ire for almost five months - spoke only briefly before protesting lawmakers forced her to step away from the podium.

Lam was able to deliver the annual address more than an hour later by video, but the hostile reception inside the Legislative Council marked a slap in the face for the embattled chief executive grappling with anti-government protests now in their fifth month.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act is one of the four pieces of legislation passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as it showcased a hard-line stand on China.

Mr Geng also demanded the USA scrap the bill and stop meddling in China's internal affairs before "falling off the edge of the cliff". Since the protests began in June, they have widened from rallies against the extradition bill to five key demands - including universal suffrage.

The Senate Appropriations Committee last month advanced an amendment that McConnell said would ensure "the USA maintains a watchful eye on the Chinese government's aggressive encroachment on Hong Kong".

The House also passed the PROTECT Hong Kong Act, which would halt USA exports of non-lethal crowd control weapons including tear gas and rubber bullets.

Security was very tight ahead of Lam's third policy address, with riot police stationed outside and water cannon on standby.

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The bill passed the House by voice vote, the BBC reported, meaning support was significant enough not to require individual representatives to record their votes.

The extradition bill has since been scrapped, and was to have been formally withdrawn at Wednesday's Legco session.

On 1 October, while China was celebrating 70 years of Communist Party rule, Hong Kong experienced what authorities said was one of its most "violent and chaotic days".

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said the protesters were trying to humiliate and bring down the Hong Kong government.

Democracy protesters in Hong Kong have publicly pleaded for lawmakers to push through the three measures.

But pro-democracy lawmakers - a minority of the pro-Beijing stacked legislature - heckled her and called for her resignation. He repeated a demand for Lam to hold an independent probe into alleged police brutality, calling it "the most important thing at this moment".

Last month, Smith joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and some of the Hong Kong activists at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol in September.

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When pressed on whether the government would consider yielding to calls for democracy, Lam gave a muted response, saying: "This is governed by constitutional principles that [are] under "One Country, Two Systems" and provisions in the Basic Law".

Ending her address on a positive note, Lam said the city faced its "most formidable challenge" since 1997, but by restoring law and order, it would "emerge from the storm and embrace the rainbow".

What is the situation in Hong Kong?

Lam's speech comes after the US House of Representatives passed a bill late Tuesday that aims to defend civil rights in Hong Kong and has drawn rare bipartisan support in a polarized Congress.

The measures, announced in the 2019 Policy Address, included "substantially" increasing the number of transitional housing projects, offering cash allowance, assisting first-time home buyers, among others.

China considers that the approval of the draft law "fully exposes the shocking hypocrisy of some in the U.S. on human rights and democracy and their malicious intention to undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability to contain China's development".

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