China an­gered by US hu­man rights stances

Evening Times - - THE WORLD TODAY -

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.

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