Pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong held a rally Thursday night to thank President Trump for signing two bills supporting human rights in the territory—but the central government in Beijing was furious. China's Foreign Ministry accused the US of backing "violent criminals" and warned that "countermeasures" would be taken if the US continues "going down the wrong path," the BBC reports. The ministry said it had summoned the American ambassador to demand that the US stop interfering in China's "internal affairs." Beijing's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs office claimed the "arrogant" Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act had angered "all" of the people in Hong Kong and said there were "evil intentions" behind it.
Trump signed two Hong Kong-related bills Wednesday, both of which had veto-proof majorities in Congress. The main measure sanctions officials in Hong Kong and China considered to have violated human rights, reports the New York Times. Another bans exports to Hong Kong of rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons. Protesters say they hope the laws will cause authorities to act with more restraint. China has so far kept Hong Kong separate from trade issues, and it's not clear what countermeasures Beijing is considering, though analysts say they could include a refusal to cooperate with the US on North Korea and Iran, the AP reports. At Thursday night's rally in Hong Kong, participants waved American flags and praised Trump for standing up to Beijing, reports RTHK. (Read more Hong Kong stories.)