China angered by US human rights stances
CHINA has summoned US ambassador Terry Branstad to “strongly protest” against US president Donald Trump’s signing of bills on human rights in Hong Kong.
Trump signed the bills, which were approved by near unanimous consent in the US house and senate, even as he expressed some concerns about complicating efforts to work out a trade deal with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Chinese vice foreign minister Le Yucheng told Branstad that the move constituted “serious interference in China’s internal affairs and a serious violation of international law”.
Le called it a “nakedly hegemonic act”. He urged the US to not implement the bill in order to prevent greater damage to US-Chinese relations.
China has repeatedly accused the US and other Western countries of orchestrating the mass prodemocracy demonstrations that have roiled Hong Kong for six months.
In Hong Kong, police have begun clearing a university that was a flashpoint for clashes with antigovernment demonstrators.
The move into the Polytechnic University came after its administration said they believed no-one else remained inside.
Activist Joshua Wong hailed the passing of the US legislation and says he hopes it will spur other western nations to follow suit.
Chinese government spokesman
Geng Shuang said Trump’s move would undermine “cooperation in important areas”.
The US laws mandate sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses in Hong Kong; require an annual review of Hong Kong’s favourable trade status; and prohibit the export to Hong Kong police of certain non-lethal munitions.