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Honh Kong Affairs: China could restrict some #US individuals from entering the country

China expressed its indignation Thursday over the Hong Kong-related act signed by US President Donald Trump, vowing to take tough countermeasures against such sinister intentions, which disrupted the nation's endeavor to the great rejuvenation.

Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law on Wednesday, a legislation that seriously interferes in China's internal affairs, violating international law and basic principles of foreign relations.

When the US Congress passed the bill earlier, several Chinese government departments called the move a blatant interference in China's internal affairs, warning that China would come up with equivalent countermeasures if Washington enforces it. While Trump signed it into law, government departments, including the Foreign Ministry, the liaison office of the Chinese central government in Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong and Macao Office of the State Council, further toughened their statements by expressing the utmost indignation and condemnation of it.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned US ambassador to China Terry Branstad on Thursday to lodge solemn representations against the legislation.

Le urged the US side to correct its mistake, not to implement the law and stop interfering into Hong Kong affairs to avoid causing further damage to China-US cooperation in vital areas.

"China will firmly launch countermeasures against this wrong move and the US will take responsibility for all the results," Le noted.

The Chinese foreign ministry said the law will only further expose the malicious and hegemonic nature of US intentions to the Chinese people, including Hong Kong compatriots. The ministry vowed that the Chinese people will only be more united.

The US aims to undermine Hong Kong's stability and prosperity, sabotage the practice of "one country, two systems," and disrupt the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, the ministry said.

The Hong Kong and Macao Office of the State Council and the Liaison Office of the Hong Kong government also slammed the signing on Thursday.

A series of vicious acts by the US against the interests of 1.4 billion Chinese people, including 7 million Hong Kongers, are antagonistic toward global justice and principles. China will retaliate with strong countermeasures, said the liaison office of the central government in Hong Kong.

The strong words by official Chinese agencies on the Hong Kong act were interpreted as the central government's determination to treat Hong Kong issues from a national security perspective. And if external forces pose a threat to China's national security, Beijing will take action immediately, analysts said, noting the countermeasures are ready to be implemented as soon as the US enforces the act.


Countermeasures

The act was signed as the US ignored an unprecedented joint move of seven Chinese government departments, including the National People's Congress, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office and the Liaison Office, last week to condemn the bill when it was passed by the US Congress. The central government is determined to safeguard national security, as rising secessionism in Hong Kong has been incited by external forces.

The US is escalating its attempt to fully contain China by signing the bill. It means that the US will officially interfere in Hong Kong affairs, Fan Peng, a research fellow at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences' Institute of Political Sciences, told the Global Times on Thursday.

Several US lawmakers had already openly voiced their support for the anti-government movement in Hong Kong, despite the growing violence that has ruined the lives of ordinary people in the city. US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once described Hong Kong riots as a "beautiful sight."

External forces supported by the US also reportedly manipulated the Hong Kong chaos. Sentaku, a monthly Japanese magazine, reported in August that Hong Kong extremists received significant funding from the National Endowment for Democracy, which it called "a CIA soft power cutout that has played a critical role in innumerable US regime change operations."

The US intends to use Hong Kong issue as a political card, just like Xinjiang, to force China to make unfair concessions in the ongoing trade talks with the US. By doing so, the US can interfere in China's domestic affairs from all sides, including its judicial system, Fan said, noting that the US will by no means succeed, Fan said.

However, the US should not underestimate Beijing's determination to safeguard national security and prevent Hong Kong from becoming an anti-China camp. And the central government has been mulling countermeasures, including political, economic, and even military options, analysts said.

Tang Fei, a member of the council of the Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, said that, to counter the US' move, China could launch countermeasures such as including US companies and individuals who interfere in Hong Kong affairs in China's Entity List, cutting their access to the Chinese market.

"Also, China could restrict some US officials from entering the country, especially those who interfered in Hong Kong affairs," he said.

Trump's dilemma

Chinese analysts who closely watch the Hong Kong situation told the Global Times that "the act's purpose is what we had expected," as the US would "swim with the current" while adding more legal tools to contain China.

The bill was passed in both houses of Congress, showing that the hawkish political force in Washington is strong, Tian Feilong, an associate professor at Beihang University in Beijing, told the Global Times.

"Trump lacks the political power to veto the bill, while it's believed that a veto is unnecessary. His signature was expected," he said.

However, the US president may selectively implement provisions of the act as leverage for ongoing trade negotiations, but he may also hold sanctions that are unfavorable for the talks, the analyst noted.

Emphasizing that the US president reserves the right to exercise this law implies that Trump is dissatisfied with politicians in Congress who interfere with his own foreign affairs authority, "and he pledged to reserve the right to make further moves in accordance with the law," Li Xiaobing, an expert on Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan studies at Nankai University in Tianjin, told the Global Times on Thursday.

"Trump is using the act as leverage for trade negotiations with China, but Congress is not, especially for those who advocate to besiege China with ideology. So the discretion of the act will probably be a problem between the US president and Congress," Li noted.

Trump and Congress will have a lot of contradictions over the act, Li warned.




By Chen Qingqing in Hong Kong and Leng Shumei in Beijing 

Source:Global Times

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