HKSAR government, Chinese Foreign Ministry condemn U.S. Congress's HK bills
Updated 18:11, 21-Nov-2019
North America;United States of America

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government strongly condemned the U.S. Congress for passing Hong Kong-related bills, one day after it slammed the U.S. Senate, saying the bills do not help in quelling the unrest.

The U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday sent the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, after a vote of 417 to 1, and another bill that bans the export of certain crowd-control munitions to Hong Kong authorities to the White House, after they were unanimously passed by the Senate on Tuesday.

Strong support had been expected after the House passed a similar bill last month. It will now go before U.S. President Donald Trump for his signature. A person familiar with the bill said Trump plans to sign it.

The bill requires the U.S. president to annually review the favorable trade status that Washington grants to Hong Kong, and threatens to revoke the coveted status that the special administrative region enjoys with the United States if its freedoms are quashed.

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HKSAR government Thursday expressed its strong opposition to the bill, pointing out that the bill not only meddles in Hong Kong's affairs but also sends the wrong message to violent protesters.

"The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and the other act on Hong Kong are unnecessary and unwarranted. They will also harm the relations and common interests between Hong Kong and the United States," said a HKSAR government statement.

Chinese foreign minister: U.S. bill aims to 'destroy Hong Kong'

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the U.S.' Hong Kong-related bills aim to mess up and even destroy Hong Kong, and have sent the wrong message, condoning violent criminals.

Wang made the remarks Thursday during a meeting with former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen in Beijing. 

Slamming the bill as "pure interference" in Chinese internal affairs, Wang said China will never allow anyone to destabilize Hong Kong and undermine the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.

Wang told Cohen the U.S. has violated basic norms governing international relations by introducing laws concerning China's internal affairs, and the move would affect the development of China-U.S. ties and will do no good to world peace and stability.

On Thursday afternoon, China's Foreign Ministry also warned it was ready to take measures to resolutely fight back following the U.S. Congress's approval, but did not specify what measures China would take.

The ministry again urged the U.S. side to understand the situation clearly, stop the passing of the act into law and stop meddling in China's internal affairs.

"No one should underestimate China's determination to safeguard its national sovereignty and interests. And no one should underestimate its determination to implement the 'One Country, Two Systems' and maintain Hong Kong's prosperity and stability," ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters at Thursday's daily briefing.

Beijing expressed strong condemnation and firm opposition on Wednesday shortly after passage of the bill in the U.S. Senate, with Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu summoning William Klein, acting charge d'affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Beijing, to lodge stern representations and strong protest against the U.S. Senate's passing of the bill.

The HKSAR government and six Beijing offices also voiced their "strong condemnation" for Washington's meddling in Beijing's internal affairs and for their public support for violent rioters who have seriously destroyed the peace and stability of Hong Kong.