China said on Thursday that new sanctions imposed by the United States against officials responsible for Hong Kong security they are an attempt to undermine stability in the semi-autonomous region and have threatened to retaliate.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Zhao Lijian said the country “Is firmly opposed and strongly condemns” the U.S. Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which requires the US Secretary of State to inform Congress about people who violate civil rights in the territory.
Ten officials from the central government of the People’s Republic of China and Hong Kong were included in the report this year, including Chief Executive Carrie Lam and Commissioner of Police Chris Tang.
The report is a “Gross interference” in China’s internal affairs and further exposes Washington’s “sinister intentions”, “undermining Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability” and “restraining China’s development,” Zhao accused.
“If the US insists on following this path, China will take resolute countermeasures to safeguard national sovereignty and security interests, and safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and related personnel, ”he added.
The sanctions include restrictions on the issuance of visas and the impediment of business between individuals on the list and US financial institutions.
The same officials were sanctioned by an executive order last August, shortly after Beijing imposed a national security law on the former British colony.
“Through the imposition of the National Security Law, the [Partido Comunista da China] harmed the democratic institutions, human rights, judicial independence and individual freedoms in Hong Kong“, Accused State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus in a statement accompanying the sanctions announcement.
Ortagus cited the arrests of peaceful protesters, the dispatch of Chinese security agents to the territory and the “politically motivated delay” of the September elections to the local assembly, as evidence of the deterioration of Beijing’s promised rights to Hong Kong at the time of the transfer sovereignty in 1997.