Hong Kong is part of China but has a largely separate legal and economic system with protections for civil rights such as freedom of speech. This arrangement is enshrined in the Joint Declaration, a 1984 treaty pertaining to the United Kingdom's transfer of Hong Kong's sovereignty to China; and the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitutional document.
Report. The bill would require the Department of State to report annually to Congress information about foreign individuals and entities that materially contributed to China's failure to comply with the Joint Declaration or the Basic Law. It also would require the Department to report annually on foreign financial institutions that knowingly conducted a significant transaction with such identified individuals and entities.
Sanctions on Individuals. The bill would permit the President to impose property-blocking sanctions on an individual or entity named in a report, and visa-blocking sanctions on a named individual. However, the bill requires the President to impose such sanctions if an individual or entity is named in two reports.
Sanctions on Entities. The bill would require the President to impose various sanctions on a financial institution named in a report, such as prohibiting the institution from receiving loans from a U.S. financial institution.
Now that the U.S. Senate has passed S. 3798, the next step in the legislative process is consideration of the measure by the U.S. House of Representatives. A bipartisan companion bill, H.R. 7083, was introduced in the House by Representatives Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Ted Yoho (R-FL).