US Imposes Visa Restrictions On Chinese officials Over Hong Kong Security Law
Mr Pompeo said the sanctions targeted “current and former” party officials.
It comes just days ahead of a meeting of China’s parliament.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress will discuss the new law at its meeting, which starts on Sunday.
China has proposed security legislation that would make it a crime to undermine Beijing’s authority in Hong Kong, and could also see China installing its own security agencies in the territory for the first time.
The move has sparked a new wave of anti-mainland protests in Hong Kong.
Mr Pompeo’s statement on Friday, which did not name the Chinese officials affected by the US visa restrictions, followed a recent vote by the US Senate to impose sanctions on individuals who undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy and the banks that do business with them.
#HongKong is part of #China. Hong Kong affairs are China's domestic affairs that allow no external interference. China will continue to take strong measures to uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests. https://t.co/hxJdQklSsQ pic.twitter.com/fApmCXJgCL
The US president said Beijing was replacing “its promised formula of One Country, Two Systems with One Country, One System”.
China’s parliament has already backed the resolution for the new legislation, which now passes to the country’s senior leadership.
Hong Kong was always meant to have a security law, but could never pass one because it was so unpopular.
China is now stepping in to ensure the city definitely has a legal framework to deal with what it sees as serious challenges to its authority.
The law would make criminal any act of:
- secession – breaking away from China
- subversion – undermining the power or authority of the central government
- terrorism – using violence or intimidation against people
- activities by foreign forces that interfere in Hong Kong
Experts say they fear the law could see people punished for criticising Beijing – as happens in mainland China.