China to impose visa restrictions on Americans over Hong Kong

In an eye-for-an-eye move against the United States, China said on Monday it will impose a visa ban on Americans who interfere with Hong Kong-related issues ahead of Beijing’s expected passage of a controversial national security law for the semi-autonomous territory. .

“In response to the unfair decision of the United States to impose visa bans on Chinese officials, China decides to impose visa bans on Americans who misbehave in Hong Kong affairs,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said Monday. Foreign Relations Zhao Lijian to journalists, Bloomberg News reported.

Who will be the targets? Relevant people would clearly know themselves, “added Zhao.

On Friday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States would impose visa restrictions on hard-line Chinese Communist Party officials responsible for efforts to restrict freedoms in Hong Kong.

His announcement came in response to Beijing’s measures to impose new security legislation in Hong Kong, which recently prompted President Trump to begin the process of eliminating the special economic treatment that has allowed the territory to remain a global financial center. .

China’s legislature is expected to pass Hong Kong’s national security law on Tuesday, which critics say will severely limit opposition policy and freedom of expression in the former British colony.

The security law would punish subversion and other crimes against the state in Hong Kong, where massive and sometimes violent protests for democracy took place last year.

A man is arrested during a protest against China's planned national security law in Hong Kong.
A man is arrested during a protest against China’s planned national security law in Hong Kong.AFP via Getty Images

Zhao reiterated China’s insistence that the law was “purely an internal matter of China, and no foreign country has the right to interfere.”

“The attempt by the US side to prevent China from promoting Hong Kong’s national security legislation through so-called sanctions will never succeed,” said Zhao.

The United States, Britain, the European Union and the United Nations rights watcher have expressed fear that the law could be used to allay criticism of Beijing.

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