US President Donald Trump signed into law legislation that bans the export of crowd control weapons to Hong Kong police and supports human rights in the city, the White House said in a statement, APA reports.
"The President signed into law: S. 1838, the 'Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019’… and S. 2710, which prohibits US exports of specified police equipment to Hong Kong," the statement said on Wednesday.
In a separate statement, Trump said he signed the bill out of respect for Chinese President Xi Jinping, China and the people of Hong Kong. He added that he hopes that China and Hong Kong will be able to settle their differences to achieve long-term peace.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act allows for sanctions against officials involved in human rights abuses in the territory and could result in the removal of special trade benefits.
Hong Kong has been facing a wave of rallies against the now-withdrawn extradition bill since June. The protests eventually escalated into violent confrontations between demonstrators and the police. Beijing has reiterated that the situation in Hong Kong is a direct result of foreign interference in China's domestic affairs and expressed full support for the local authorities' actions.