China condemned the US on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump signed the “Hong Kong Autonomy Act” into law, and said it will take countermeasures to safeguard its legitimate interests.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an online statement that sanctions would be imposed against relevant US individuals and entities.
The act slams the National Security Law for Hong Kong and threatens to place sanctions on China, which is a violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations and constitutes gross violations of China’s domestic affairs, the ministry said.
Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and admit no foreign interference, the statement said, adding that Beijing urges Washington to correct its mistakes, refrain from implementing the act and stop any interference in Hong Kong affairs and other domestic affairs of China.
The Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) said on Wednesday that Washington’s meddling in Hong Kong affairs and its threat are acts of “bullying” driven by “hegemonic logic”.
The office said in a statement that no external forces will undermine China’s resolve and confidence in safeguarding its national sovereignty and security as well as the long-term prosperity and stability of the HKSAR.
US economic sanctions will not substantially affect Hong Kong, but instead will severely dampen its own interests in the region, it said.
The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council also expressed strong indignation. It said in a statement that the National Security Law for Hong Kong has taken effect and will be implemented rigorously.
Any act that endangers national security will be seriously punished without regard for external opinions, it said, adding that US attempts to block the law’s implementation will never succeed.
The HKSAR government on Wednesday said it will fully cooperate with the central government in taking countermeasures to frustrate US attempts at hegemony.
The US moves, using human rights, democracy and autonomy as an excuse, are a product of its own political calculations, the HKSAR government said, and the act constitutes a violation of international law and an attempt to make trouble in Hong Kong and contain China.
The HKSAR government said the US law and presidential order ending Washington’s preferential treatment for Hong Kong have no legal force for the financial institutions of Hong Kong.
Political leaders, legal experts and scholars in Hong Kong and the Chinese mainland also slammed the so-called “Hong Kong Autonomy Act” as arrogant.
Hong Kong Executive Council member Regina Ip Lau Sukyee said the sanctions are meant to retaliate for the National Security Law for Hong Kong and deliberately distort the city’s constitutional status.
Tian Feilong, an associate professor at the Law School of Beihang University, said the Sino-British Joint Declaration doesn’t form the constitutional foundation of Hong Kong, and that’s where the US didn’t have a correct understanding of the city’s autonomy under the “one country, two systems” principle.
The act, a zero-sum tactic, will backfire and harm US economic interests, including US companies doing business with the city, Tian said.
Fabio Massimo Parenti, an Italian professor and geopolitical expert, said the sanctions and the act constitute “unbelievable” political interference in another country’s internal affairs.
Parenti, a professor at China Foreign Affairs University, said if the roles were reversed, and China had approved a law including international repercussions for the US in response to social injustice against its minorities, there would be pandemonium.