US lawmakers from both main parties have reintroduced a bill to Congress intended to press Beijing to guarantee Hong Kong's autonomy and human rights. The new attempt to push for the city's democratic development comes as President Xi Jinping reportedly prepares to make a first state visit to the United States in September. And Hong Kong Justice Secretary Rimsky Yuen Kwok-keung yesterday warned that attempts by foreign governments to interfere in the city's political reform process could "backfire". Four US congressmen - Republicans Chris Smith and Dana Rohrabacher and Democrats Eliot Engel and Dan Lipinski - tabled the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. If it becomes law, the bill will update the 1992 US-Hong Kong Policy Act, under which the city gets trade and economic privileges not extended to mainland China. The act would require annual certification from the US secretary of state that the city was sufficiently autonomous. A similar bill was submitted by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, but lapsed in November. "A status quo US policy is unsustainable if Beijing continues to insist that Hong Kong become like mainland China," Smith said in a statement issued by the four. "The special privileges the US grants to Hong Kong can only endure if Beijing fulfils its long-standing obligation under international law to maintain Hong Kong's autonomy, guarantee human rights and allow free and fair elections in 2017 and beyond." Smith said Beijing had taken steps to erode the city's autonomy and freedoms. He cited its decision in August to impose limits on nominations if Hongkongers elect their chief executive for the first time in 2017. "Given the tens of thousands of Hong Kong people who demonstrated peacefully last year for democratic reforms, the Hong Kong and Chinese governments should seek new proposals for electoral reform," the statement said. But Beijing has long criticised "foreign interference" in Hong Kong affairs and accused unnamed foreign forces of being behind last year's Occupy Central pro-democracy protests. "We don't want foreign governments or foreigners to intervene in affairs that can be handled by ourselves," Yuen said, adding that the Beijing and Hong Kong governments, Hongkongers themselves and the city's lawmakers were the only stakeholders in the city's political reform. The director of the Centre on American Studies at Beijing's Renmin University, Professor Shi Yinhong , said it was unlikely any US president would sign such a bill into law. "Other countries clearly understand that they could express dissatisfaction based on political preference and cultural values, but there is absolutely no excuse or motivation [for them] to change their policy to Hong Kong," Shi said. Experts said Xi would likely spend three days in the US later this year. But Professor Jin Canrong , another US expert at Renmin University, said Hong Kong was unlikely to be raised. He questioned if Washington would risk "America's strategic foothold" in the city and pointed out that of the 25,000 bills tabled to the US Congress each year, only about 250 were passed.