China to slap visa re­stric­tions on Amer­i­cans over Hong Kong

Iran Daily - - Internatio­nal -

China said it will slap visa re­stric­tions on Amer­i­cans with bad records in Hong Kong-re­lated is­sues, crit­i­ciz­ing Wash­ing­ton for at­tempts to throw a wrench in a na­tional se­cu­rity law planned to be in­tro­duced in the semi­au­tonomous Chi­nese ter­ri­tory.

“China has de­cided to im­pose visa re­stric­tions against Amer­i­can in­di­vid­u­als who have be­haved egre­giously on mat­ters con­cern­ing Hong Kong,” the Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman Zhao Li­jian said dur­ing a press brief­ing on Mon­day, Press TV re­ported.

The move comes af­ter US Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo said on Fri­day that it was re­strict­ing US visas for a num­ber of un­spec­i­fied Chi­nese of­fi­cials for al­legedly in­fring­ing on the au­ton­omy of Hong Kong.

The spokesman did not spec­ify which US in­di­vid­u­als have been tar­geted.

“In re­sponse ... China has de­cided to im­pose visa re­stric­tions on US in­di­vid­u­als with egre­gious con­duct on Hk-re­lated is­sues,” Li­jian said.

The an­nounce­ment comes as China’s par­lia­ment – the Na­tional Peo­ple’s Congress Stand­ing Com­mit­tee – is look­ing into the na­tional se­cu­rity bill drafted with the aim of coun­ter­ing sedi­tion, se­ces­sion and sub­ver­sion in Hong Kong against the main­land.

Re­ports say the bill has over­whelm­ing sup­port among the Chi­nese leg­is­la­tors.

Sev­eral protests have been held in Hong Kong over the past week against the draft law. Wash­ing­ton has openly voiced sup­port for the anti-bei­jing demon­stra­tions, an­ger­ing China.

Last week, the US Se­nate ap­proved a bill that would im­pose manda­tory sanc­tions on peo­ple or com­pa­nies that, Wash­ing­ton claims, back ef­forts to re­strict Hong Kong’s au­ton­omy.

It in­cludes sec­ondary sanc­tions on banks that do busi­ness with any­one back­ing any crack­down on the ter­ri­tory’s au­ton­omy.

CAR­LOS GAR­CIA RAWL­INS/REUTERS

Chi­nese For­eign Min­istry spokesman Zhao Li­jian at­tends a news con­fer­ence in Bei­jing, China, on April 8, 2020.

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