Beijing: China has firmly denounced the Hong Kong Autonomy Act adopted in the United States, and is intending to impose sanctions against relevant US citizens and organizations, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
US President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday that he had signed legislation and an Executive Order punishing China for the encroachment on Hong Kong autonomy. He told reporters that he signed into law the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which had passed unanimously through Congress, and gave him tools to hold those accountable who suppress freedom. The Executive Order signed by the president ends US preferential treatment for Hong Kong and will ensure it is treated the same as mainland China.
“The US law maliciously decries the Hong Kong National Security Act, it includes threats to impose sanctions on China, gravely violates international law and basic rules of international relations, is a gross interference in Hong Kong’s and China’s internal affairs. The Chinese government strongly condemns this,” the ministry said in a statement.
It added that China will take the necessary retaliatory measures and impose sanctions against US citizens and organizations related to this law.
“Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, Hong Kong’s affairs are exclusively internal affairs of China, no foreign country has the right to intervene. China is unwavering in its determination and will to protect national sovereignty and security, to ensure the prosperity and stability of Hong Kong, as well as to resist the outside forces’ intervention in Hong Kong’s internal affairs,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, adding that Washington’s plans to impede the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Act were doomed for failure.
According to the statement, Beijing calls on the United States “to fix its mistakes and to not enact the so-called Hong Kong Autonomy Act, to stop any interference in China’s internal affairs, including in Hong Kong’s,” however, if the United States stands its ground, China will take countermeasures.
Washington’s move comes in the wake of Beijing’s recently approved security law, which outlaws separatist, subversive and terrorist activities in Hong Kong. On June 30, Chinese President Xi Jinping signed it into effect.
The legislation has been condemned by the Hong Kong opposition, as well as Western officials, who claim it would undermine the city’s autonomy guaranteed during its transition from the United Kingdom to China. The new law has been met by a wave of protests in the city, as some residents fear their rights may be infringed upon.
Both Hong Kong’s leadership and the central government in Beijing say the law would not affect residents’ rights. Beijing maintains that the recent unrest in Hong Kong is a result of foreign interference and vows to respect the “one country, two systems’ principle.