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China To Impose Visa Restrictions On US Officials Over Hong Kong

China To Impose Visa Restrictions On US Officials Over Hong Kong

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said on Monday that it intends to impose visa restrictions on certain American officials for interfering in Hong Kong's Affairs.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijiang, Beijing calls on Washington to stop interfering in Hong Kong's Affairs. He stressed that if the United States will continue its activities in China will take strong countermeasures.

This statement comes after US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo announced visa restrictions on officials of the Communist Party of China (CPC) for undermining Hong Kong's autonomy at the end of last week.

"Today, I am announcing visa restrictions on current and former officials (CPC) who are allegedly responsible or involved in undermining the high degree of autonomy of Hong Kong guaranteed by the United Sino-British Declaration of 1984," the Secretary of state said in a statement.

Washington condemned Beijing for failing to fulfill the obligations of the Sino-British Declaration, as well as for exerting pressure on the Hong Kong authorities "to arrest Pro-democracy activists and disqualify Pro-democracy candidates in the elections."

The US called on China to adhere to its obligations under the Declaration, in particular, to provide Hong Kong with a "high degree of autonomy" and to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression and the right to peaceful Assembly, by law.

In May, Premier Li Keqiang confirmed in a report to the NPC session that Beijing intends to create " stable legal systems and enforcement mechanisms to protect national security in Hong Kong."

The US, Australian, Canadian and British authorities later issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over Beijing's decision to extend national security legislation to Hong Kong.

Later, US President Donald Trump said that the US will begin to deprive Hong Kong of its privileged status since it has ceased to be a separate component of the PRC.