Pelosi signs Hong Kong bill and sends it to Trump to become law

Daniel Flatley

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi sent Donald Trump legislation supporting Hong Kong protesters, and the president is expected to sign the bill into law despite Chinese warnings of retaliation.

“For us, this is a really a very, very proud day,” Pelosi said at a small ceremony to enroll the bill, which passed unanimously in the Senate and with support from all but one Republican in the House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., attends a ceremony to unveil a portrait honoring former House Speaker John Boehner on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019, in Washington.

Trump plans to sign the bill, according to a person familiar with the matter, even as his administration tries to finalize the first phase of a long-awaited trade deal with China. Even though the Chinese Foreign Ministry warned of “strong countermeasures” in response to the legislation, Vice Premier Liu He on Wednesday told participants in a private dinner in Beijing he was “cautiously optimistic” about reaching a trade agreement with the U.S., according to people who attended.

Pelosi acknowledged the economic risks of angering the world’s largest emerging market, but she said if the U.S. doesn’t “speak up for human rights in China because of commercial issues, we lose all moral authority to speak about human rights anywhere in the world.”

With assistance from Shawn Donnan.