The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act mandates that the US Secretary of State certify at least once a year whether Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to qualify for special US trading considerations.
Hundreds of Hong Kong pro-democracy activists rallied Friday outside the British Consulate, urging the city's former colonial ruler to emulate the US and take concrete actions to support their cause, as police ended a blockade of a university campus after 12 days.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, for its part, pledged in a statement on Thursday to retaliate against Trump signing the law, saying that "such an action has seriously interfered in Hong Kong's affairs and China's domestic politics".
The two countries are now locked in a trade war and have deep differences over China's claims to the South China Sea and Taiwan, human rights issues and accusations of Chinese industrial espionage. It also called on the Hong Kong government to engage in dialogue with its people to resolve their differences.
The end of one of the most violent chapters in almost six months of protests against China and the Hong Kong government came as activists vowed to hold fresh rallies and strikes in the coming days.
Hong Kong police said they had seized roughly 4,000 petrol bombs from the Polytechnic University campus which has been the battleground of recent protests. A second bill signed by Trump bans the export of riot control weapons including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and water cannons to Hong Kong.
U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, adding that he would selectively enforce only certain portions of the legislation.
Right until Hong Kong's district council elections Sunday, state broadcaster China Central Television quoted locals on the importance of elections and urged voters to help end the violence.
The KMT supports Hong Kong people's right of expression but disapproves of rioters' destroying public facilities, according to the statement.
Hong Kong government also denounced the United States legislation as unreasonable meddling, saying it sends the wrong signal to protesters and won't help to ease the crisis.
Wang Yong, professor of global studies at Peking University, said the focus on Congress rather than Trump was a sign of Chinese authorities' desire to leave space for a trade deal despite political tensions over China's policies in Xinjiang and Hong Kong.
The U.S. House and Senate passed the Hong Kong rights act with overwhelming, veto-proof majorities.
Even Democratic strategist Leslie Marshall had good things to say about Trump for his decision, which was met by cheers and gratitude in the streets of Hong Kong on Thursday.
The protesters, meanwhile, have accused police of brutality. The state-run People's Dailywrote that "the U.S. Congress, full of evil intentions, is trying to stir up troubles" and that "some American politicians" were trying to destabilize Hong Kong.
We are now forming the American Conservative Movement.
Hong Kong has become the front lines in the battle between democracy and China's one-party rule.
Senior faculty members of Hong Kong Polytechnic University toured the campus after police left, visiting the canteen and sports hall and inspecting smashed windows and charred piles of what used to be barricades.
"The current environment on campus is still unsafe, and the work on clean-up, inventory inspection and restoration will take time", the university said in a statement, announcing the removal of the police cordon.
The campus was the site of a siege, which turned into one of the defining moments of the anti-government protests.
On Thursday, hundreds of police officers entered the ruined campus of Polytechnic University to collect evidence, and remove risky items including thousands of petrol bombs, arrows and chemicals which had been strewn around the site.