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Joint Statement of 24 US Hong Kong Advocacy Organizations on Biden Administration's Initial Response to Hong Kong’s Article 23 National Security Law

Joint Statement on Biden Administration Inaction on A23 FINAL 4-4-24
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We, the undersigned Hong Kong advocacy organizations, consider the Biden Administration’s response thus far to Hong Kong’s new Article 23 national security law (“Article 23 NSL”) to be inadequate and concerning. We call on the Administration to swiftly impose measures to deter Beijing’s aggression, including humanitarian pathways for Hong Kong’s dissidents and targeted sanctions on those responsible for what the State Department recently deemed “intensifying repression” in Hong Kong. We also urge Congress to pass the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Certification Act, Hong Kong Sanctions Act, and Transnational Repression Policy Act.

Two weeks ago, Beijing and its collaborators in Hong Kong imposed a new national security law

on the city under a provision known as Article 23. The Article 23 NSL expands on the infamous

2020 NSL and is designed to stamp out what remains of Hongkongers’ freedoms. It targets both

local political activity and overseas activism, including in the United States, and disregards the

guarantees Beijing made to the world to maintain Hong Kong’s autonomy and way of life. As

Beijing seeks to expand its authoritarian influence, threatening democracies in Asia and across

the globe, the Article 23 NSL is its latest effort to test the world’s response.

Last Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced visa restrictions on Hong Kong

officials “responsible for the intensifying crackdown on rights and freedoms.” While visa

restrictions are necessary, they fall far short of the decisive action the American people expect of

their leaders in response to Beijing’s continued repression of Hong Kong. If these visa restrictions

are not followed by a stronger response, Beijing will feel emboldened to expand its repression in

Hong Kong and around the world, including on American soil.

Five weeks after the 2020 NSL’s passage, the last administration issued an Executive Order

authorizing sanctions on those involved in the “coercing, arresting, detaining, or imprisoning of

individuals under the authority of, or to be or have been responsible for or involved in developing,

adopting, or implementing” the 2020 NSL. Forty-two officials have since been sanctioned under

the order, but we are concerned that no Hong Kong officials have been sanctioned by the U.S.

government since 2021.

We call on the administration to use the authority already provided by Congress to impose

sanctions against those responsible for passing, implementing, and enforcing the Article

23 NSL, and to offer safe haven in the U.S. to dissidents fleeing the regime.

The U.S. Congress should also act by bringing the HKETO Certification Act (H.R. 1103/S. 490) to

the floor for a vote. The legislation has passed both the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the

Senate Foreign Relations Committee with overwhelming bipartisan support. Congress should

also advance the Hong Kong Sanctions Act (H.R. 6153/S.3177) and the Transnational Repression

Policy Act (H.R. 3654/S.831) in order to further deter Beijing’s repression.

When eleven Hong Kong officials were sanctioned in 2020, Hong Kong had sent fewer than 50

political dissidents to prison. Today, that number has surpassed 1,800. We must not allow Beijing

to believe that it can get away with further expansion of its authoritarian influence, and it is up to

the Administration and Congress to use the tools available against this growing threat.

1. Hong Kong Democracy Council

2. Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.

3. Committee for Freedom in Hong Kong Foundation

4. APAC Committee, Assembly of Citizens’ Representatives, Hong Kong

5. Arizona for Hong Kong (AZ4HK)

6. Bonham Tree Aid

7. Call4HK

8. Chicago Solidarity with Hong Kong (CSHK)

9. Hong Kong Affairs Association of Berkeley (HKAAB)

10. Hong Kong Forum, Los Angeles

11. Hong Kong Social Action Movements in Boston

12. Hong Kongers in San Diego

13. Hong Kongers in San Francisco Bay Area

14. Lamp of Liberty

15. New Yorkers Supporting Hong Kong (NY4HK)

16. New York University Hong Kong Student Advocacy Group (NYU HKSAG)

17. Northern California Hong Kong Club

18. NYC852HKER

19. Philly4HK

20. Students For Hong Kong

21. TX4HK

22. US Hongkongers Club

23. Washingtonians Supporting Hong Kong (DC4HK)

24. We The Hongkongers

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