Hong Kong activists appeal to US lawmakers to help movement

Protesters carry U.S. flags and a placard reading "You trust Communist party?" as they march on a street in Hong Kong, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019. Thousands of Hong Kong people chanted slogans and marched Sunday at a downtown shopping district in defiance of a police ban, with shops shuttered amid fears of renewed violence in the months-long protests for democratic reforms in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Activists involved in months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong are appealing to U.S. lawmakers to block the export by American companies of weapons and equipment used against peaceful demonstrators.

The activists testified Tuesday before a government commission set up to monitor human rights in China. They include several young people who have emerged as prominent figures in a leaderless movement.

Republicans and Democrats on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China expressed support for the protests and said the U.S. needs to counter Chinese efforts to undermine established rights in Hong Kong.

Lawmakers have authored legislation that places the Chinese government on notice that if they further erode the territory's autonomy it will lose the special trade status for Hong Kong.

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