Chinese authorities have said visa restrictions will be imposed on US officials over Hong-Kong related issues.
Recall that the United States had announced a similar sanction last week over China’s security law in Hong Kong.
China’s announcement comes as the top decision-making body of China’s parliament deliberates a draft national security law for Hong Kong that pro-democracy activists in the city fear will be used to eliminate dissent and tighten Beijing’s control.
Visa restrictions will be imposed on certain Americans with “egregious conduct relating to Hong Kong,” Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian said Monday.
He added that attempts by Washington “to obstruct China’s legislation for safeguarding national security in Hong Kong,” by imposing sanctions against officials in the city and Beijing “will never succeed.”
“The national security law for Hong Kong is purely China’s internal affairs and foreign countries have no right to interfere,” Zhao said.
Asked which US individuals the sanctions would affect, Zhao said: “I believe these relevant people know that very well.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the new visa restrictions by Washington apply to “current and former” officials of China’s ruling Communist Party “believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.”
The U.S. Senate also approved a bill last week that would impose mandatory sanctions on people or companies that back efforts to restrict Hong Kong’s autonomy. It includes secondary sanctions on banks that do business with anyone backing any crackdown on the territory’s autonomy.
The national security law is expected to criminalize secession, subversion against the central Chinese government, terrorist activities, and collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security.