Alarm from the United States and European officials was expressed regarding the arrests of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, lawmakers, including a local official today just before an anticipated mass protest planned for this weekend. At least eight have been arrested with charges related to prior protests involving an extradition bill.
U.S. lawmakers soon sent messages of concern. “Arresting dissenters is not a sign of strength—only weakness [and] fear. The Chinese Communist Party has broken its promise to the people of Hong Kong [and] has shown it does not respect fundamental human rights,” Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on Twitter on Friday. He warned that the world is watching what’s happening in Hong Kong and will hold the Chinese authorities accountable.
“For months now, the people of Hong Kong have taken to the streets to stand up for their democratic rights. The American people must continue to stand with them,” he added.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell also called for world leaders to pay attention. “It should not be business as usual until Beijing respects Hong Kong’s autonomy and political freedoms,” he said.