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This is a plea for democracy," singer and activist Denise Ho told a hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Tuesday. The panel of witnesses also urged members of the commission, which includes senators and members of the House of Representatives from both parties, to take action even if it might affect Hong Kong's economy. He also warned that Chinese President Xi Jinping may take harsher action ahead of celebrations on October 1 to mark the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

Why I’m optimistic about U.S. democracy – even Congress!

The former British colony has been rocked by more than three months of sometimes violent clashes, with demonstrators angry over what they see as creeping interference by Beijing in Hong Kong's affairs, despite a promise of autonomy. Hong Kong returned to China in under a "one country, two systems" formula that guarantees the city's residents freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland, including an independent legal system. Leaders of Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement on Tuesday appealed directly to legislators in the United States to exert pressure on Beijing, warning that an erosion of the city's special status would embolden China's leaders around the world.


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In an appearance likely to infuriate Beijing, the activists at the forefront of Hong Kong's mass protests testified before a congressional commission in support of US legislation aimed at defending Hong Kong people's civil rights. This is a plea for democracy," singer and activist Denise Ho told a hearing of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China on Tuesday.

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The panel of witnesses also urged members of the commission, which includes senators and members of the House of Representatives from both parties, to take action even if it might affect Hong Kong's economy. He also warned that Chinese President Xi Jinping may take harsher action ahead of celebrations on October 1 to mark the 70th anniversary of the People's Republic of China.

So what explains my cautious optimism? The surge in grassroots citizen action after the election shows no signs of receding.


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And our co-funders and grantees have taken a number of bold and inspiring strokes, e. I readily admit the current Congress has often been feckless and hyperpartisan.

Three Ways the New Congress Can Defend Democracy Abroad

But there is also countervailing data we need to reckon with. Congress pretty much stiffed President Trump.

The Friday Cover

He wanted steep cuts at the Department of Education, the National Institutes of Health, and in public housing programs; Congress actually increased their funding. President Trump might aspire to rule like a strongman, but unlike Xi and Putin, he confronts an independent legislature that can and does check and balance him.

'Plea for democracy': Hong Kong activists lobby US Congress | News | Al Jazeera

These checks and balances will be buttressed later this year by another bedrock feature of our democracy. Every two years —based on the clockwork of our Constitution, not the political whims of a leader or a party — American voters go to the polls to elect all members of the House and one-third of the Senate.

Congressional Leadership: Crash Course Government and Politics #8

All the early signs point to a midterm election that will stiffen the spine of Congress in its built-in constitutional rivalry with the executive branch.