China threatens to retaliate if lawmakers on Capitol Hill pass legislation backing the Hong Kong protestors, as ongoing civil unrest continues to plague the area.
Chinese officials issued that threat Wednesday saying it would retaliate with “strong countermeasures” if the resolution is passed.
This comes just one day after the lower chamber passed the measure unanimously, before it is expected to head to the Senate for another vote.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 could provide justification for sanctions targeting anyone who seeks to undermine the widespread pro-democracy demonstrations.
If passed, the measure will spur an annual review to evaluate the special trading status Hong Kong currently has under American law.
The bill is expected to pass the GOP-controlled upper chamber, where it enjoys widespread bipartisan support.
This comes just days after President Trump announced the U.S. had reached a “very substantial Phase One deal” with the Chinese delegation during high-level trade talks in Washington last week.
According to the president, the second phase of the trade deal will start quickly after Phase One is signed.
President Trump made those remarks from the Oval Office last week saying the deal will be very beneficial for American farmers and will be sculpted over the coming weeks.
The deal reportedly addresses various topics of contention between the U.S. and China including intellectual property and financial services.
President Trump has also touted the deal’s nature saying it will not need to go through the typical congressional approval process to be enacted.
The president is expected to sign Phase One, making the deal official, in the coming weeks, before moving on to Phase Two.
Negotiations between the countries took place last week, and included various officials including United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin.
It remains unclear if President Trump is expected to sign the Hong Kong legislation into law, and whether or not that could effect ongoing trade talks with Beijing.