China Threatens U.S. with Visa Restrictions

  • Zhao Lijian explained that "the national security legislation for the HKSAR is China's internal affair, and no foreign country has any right to interfere."
  • Last week, the US Senate passed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.
  • According to the law, Chinese security forces will be allowed to establish a base and work in the former British crown colony.

The controversial Hong Kong security law is about to be implemented. China has refused to cancel it, as proposed by various western nations, and it is now threatening American critics with visa restrictions. It is a move similar to what had been taken before by Washington towards China’s proponents of the controversial law.

Zhao Lijian is a Chinese politician and the current deputy director of Foreign Ministry Information Department. He is best known for his outbursts on Twitter, a social network website that is blocked to ordinary citizens in China.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing has announced that those who behave “outrageously on the Hong Kong security law” should expect visa restrictions for entering China in the future. Zhao Lijian explained that “the national security legislation for the HKSAR is China’s internal affair, and no foreign country has any right to interfere.”  Zhao added:

“The Chinese government is firmly committed to safeguarding national sovereignty, security and development interests, implementing ‘one country, two systems,’ and opposing interference in Hong Kong affairs by external forces. The US attempts to obstruct China’s legislation for safeguarding national security in the HKSAR by imposing the so-called sanctions, but it will never succeed.”

Tit for Tat?

Last week, the US Senate passed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, and the State Department announced it would punish individuals and organizations, such as law enforcement agencies, that undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy. The Senate bill specifically targets security units that have been cracking down on Hong Kong protesters, as well as Chinese Communist Party officials responsible for the imposition of the controversial national security law.

The Hong Kong national security law is a decision adopted by the third session of the thirteenth National People’s Congress, to authorize the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC) to promulgate a national security law in Hong Kong. The pan-democratic camp, human rights organisations and politicians abroad have criticised the decision as a threat to the “one country, two systems” principle, the rule of law and civil liberties.

Banks that do business with entities found to violate the law won’t be spared either, as they will be slammed with sanctions. In reaction to the move by the US, the Chinese spokesperson called the US move erroneous, and explained that it’s what caused China to impose visa restrictions on US individuals whom it deems opposed to the controversial security law.

“The US Senate, in total disregard of China’s solemn position, obstinately passed the negative bill regarding Hong Kong. It is vicious denigration of the national security legislation for Hong Kong, grave interference in Hong Kong affairs and China’s internal affairs, and violation of international law and basic norms of international relations. China rejects it and has lodged solemn representations with the US.”

However, neither the United States nor China provided specific information about the restrictions or persons who might be slammed by the move.

The Controversial National Security Law

Among other things, according to the law, Chinese security forces will be allowed to establish a base and work in the former British crown colony. According to China, however, the national security legislation for Hong Kong aims to safeguard China’s sovereignty, security and development interests, lasting peace, stability and prosperity in Hong Kong.

It also strives for the steady and sustained implementation of “one country, two systems.”

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Vincent Ferdinand

News reporting is my thing. My view of what is happening in our world is colored by my love of history and how the past influences events taking place in the present time.  I like reading politics and writing articles. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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