A Hong Kong university campus under siege for more than a week was a deserted wasteland Saturday, with a handful of protesters holed up in hidden refuges across the trashed grounds, as the city's focus turned to local elections.
If the bills become law, the State Department would be required to frequently certify that Hong Kong retains enough autonomy to justify the favourable USA trading terms that have helped it maintain its position as a world financial centre.
A separate measure bans the sale of tear gas, rubber bullets and other equipment used by the security forces to suppress pro-democracy protests.
Once a bill is passed by both chambers of Congress, the president has 10 days to sign it into law or veto it. It will become law automatically if he doesn't do anything.
The White House did not provide any clarification of Trump's comments.
The president also claimed, without evidence, that he had saved the lives of thousands of Hong Kong demonstrators by telling Xi not to intervene. He's a friend of mine.
At an unrelated event later Friday, Trump said he would give the Hong Kong bill a long look.
"They are afraid of contact with other people because they will think that maybe social workers or lawyers are going to persuade them to surrender", he said.
The bills call for a yearly assessment of the status of Hong Kong's special autonomy, with sanctions imposed as penalties upon anyone (in China) deemed to be violating them, and seeks to prevent the USA from exporting crowd-control weapons to Hong Kong police. "But I stand with Hong Kong, I stand with freedom, I stand with all of the things that we want to do", Trump told Fox and Friends. "Being tough on China when it comes to human rights will also help us win the battle on trade".
"If he does veto this bill, sacrificing American values in the process, Congress should immediately and overwhelmingly override", tweeted Scott Paul, the president of the Alliance for American Manufacturing, who has often backed Trump's trade policies.
China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi denounced the bill as "naked interference" in China's internal affairs, and vowed retaliatory measures.
China, however, has threatened to "take strong opposing measures", warning the United States will "bear all the consequences" for this "serious violation of worldwide law".
"If the USA continues to make the wrong moves, China will be taking strong countermeasures for sure", he added.
Trump said he remained insistent that President Xi and China not take lethal action against the protesters in Hong Kong.
The human rights act mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the favorable trade status that Washington grants Hong Kong.
Asked about the Hong Kong unrest, Mr Trump replied: "That's a complicating factor, no question about it".
Trump's comments Friday come one day after Sen.