Sanc­tions an­nounced for NGOs, US ves­sels

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - FRONT PAGE - By ZHOU JIN zhou­[email protected]­

China said on Mon­day that it has sus­pended re­view of re­quests by United States mil­i­tary ships and air­craft to visit Hong Kong and also an­nounced sanc­tions against sev­eral US non-govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions in re­sponse to a Hong Kong-re­lated US leg­is­la­tion.

The so-called Hong Kong Hu­man Rights and Democ­racy Act, signed into law by US Pres­i­dent Donald Trump last week, has sparked strong op­po­si­tion from China, which said it would is­sue firm coun­ter­mea­sures. For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Hua Chun­y­ing said at a daily news brief­ing on Mon­day that sanc­tions will ap­ply to NGOs that “be­haved badly” dur­ing Hong Kong’s dis­tur­bances. She ac­cused the NGOs of hav­ing “great re­spon­si­bil­ity for the chaos in Hong Kong”.

The US-head­quar­tered NGOs in­clude the Na­tional En­dow­ment for Democ­racy, the Na­tional Demo­cratic In­sti­tute for In­ter­na­tional Af­fairs, the In­ter­na­tional Repub­li­can In­sti­tute, Hu­man Rights Watch and Free­dom House.

Hua said a large amount of facts and ev­i­dence has shown that these NGOs sup­port an­tiChina forces that seek to dis­rupt Hong Kong, in­sti­gate them to en­gage in ex­treme vi­o­lent crimes and in­cite sep­a­ratist ac­tiv­i­ties for Hong Kong in­de­pen­dence.

“We urge the US to cor­rect the mis­takes and stop in­ter­fer­ing in our in­ter­nal af­fairs. China will take fur­ther steps if nec­es­sary to up­hold Hong Kong’s sta­bil­ity and pros­per­ity and China’s sovereignt­y,” Hua said.

China had al­ready de­nied re­quests for two US Navy ships to dock in Hong Kong in Au­gust.

In an­other de­vel­op­ment, Hua again urged Canada on Mon­day to re­lease Huawei’s fi­nan­cial chief, Meng Wanzhou, who is be­ing “un­rea­son­ably de­tained”.

Meng was taken into cus­tody on Dec 1 last year and has been de­tained in Canada since. Her ar­rest was made at the re­quest of the US, which is seek­ing her ex­tra­di­tion on fraud charges. Meng and Huawei have re­peat­edly de­nied any wrong­do­ing.

The US and Canada have abused their bi­lat­eral ex­tra­di­tion treaties, ar­bi­trar­ily im­posed co­er­cive mea­sures on Chi­nese cit­i­zens and se­ri­ously vi­o­lated the le­git­i­mate rights and in­ter­ests of Chi­nese cit­i­zens, Hua said.

China re­mains com­mit­ted to safe­guard­ing le­git­i­mate rights and in­ter­ests, in­clud­ing those of both Chi­nese cit­i­zens and en­ter­prises, she re­it­er­ated.

“We strongly urge the Cana­dian side to take our po­si­tion and con­cerns se­ri­ously, earnestly cor­rect its mis­takes and re­lease Meng as soon as pos­si­ble to en­sure her safe re­turn to her mother­land,” she said.

Meng pub­lished an open let­ter on Mon­day ex­press­ing her grat­i­tude to all sup­port­ers. In the let­ter, she re­counted hav­ing ex­pe­ri­enced fear and pain, dis­ap­point­ment and strug­gle through­out the year. She said she has learned to face the un­known with courage.

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