The United States will be imposing visa restrictions against Chinese officials who are responsible for limiting Hong Kong’s freedom, said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The move comes in advance China’s three-day parliament meeting on Sunday. A new national security legislation for Hong Kong will be the topic of the meeting.
“President Trump promised to punish the Chinese Communist Party Officials who were responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms,” said Pompeo.
The new visa restrictions will apply to both “current and former” CCP officials. The officials were “believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy,” Pompeo said.
However, Pompeo did not name the officials included in the restrictions.
Pompeo also accused China of “pressuring local authorities to arrest pro-democracy activists”, said the Guardian report.
In addition, relatives of these officials could also be banned, said a state department spokesperson, as per the Guardian.
Chinese Embassy’s Reply
The Chinese embassy located in Washington said that China, “opposes the US side’s wrongful decisions”.
“Hong Kong is part of China,” it said, and in fact, “Hong Kong’s affairs are China’s domestic affairs.”
“The Hong Kong national security legislation targets a very narrow category of acts that seriously jeopardize national security”, it explained.
The embassy also cited the Sino-British Joint Declaration to support China’s decision on the legislation.
“No one has any legal grounds or right to make irresponsible comments on Hong Kong affairs”, it said.
Lastly, the embassy, “urge the US side to immediately correct its mistakes. It added, “withdraw the decisions and stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs.”
UN Experts Urges China To “Abide by its International Legal Obligations”
Individual UN experts urged China to “withdraw the draft national security law for Hong Kong”.
“The draft law would deprive the people of Hong Kong the autonomy and fundamental rights guaranteed them under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration,” they said.
China will be violating its international legal obligations if the law would be passed, said the experts.