China threatens to stop issuing visas to Americans with “outrageous behaviour” on Hong Kong-related matters. In doing so, China wants to retaliate US sanctions against Chinese officials.
The announcement came Monday while the Chinese parliament is working on a bill for the controversial Hong Kong security bill. With that law in hand, Beijing wants to take stronger action against protesters who want to preserve democracy in Hong Kong.
A spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry announced the sanctions at a news conference. There he was asked how China responds to Washington’s decision to stop issuing visas to Chinese officials involved in repression in Hong Kong.
“The US is trying to prevent China from enacting national security laws for Hong Kong by imposing sanctions, but it will never succeed,” said the spokesman.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the new visa restrictions would apply to current and former Chinese Communist Party officials “believed to be complicit in undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy”.
The Senate last week passed a law imposing sanctions on people and companies involved in curtailing Hong Kong’s autonomy.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said China has complained to the US about the law and warned that Americans could expect strong countermeasures in response to interference with Hong Kong affairs.