China said Monday it will suspend US Navy visits to Hong Kong and sanction several American pro-democracy organizations in retaliation for the signing into law of legislation supporting human rights in the semi-autonomous territory. While the nature of the sanctions remained unclear, the move appeared to back up Chinese threats that the US would bear the costs of the decision. The steps are in response to America's "unreasonable behavior," foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said, adding that the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act "seriously interfered" in China’s internal affairs, the AP reports.
"China urges the United States to correct its mistakes and stop any words and deeds that interfere in Hong Kong and China's internal affairs," she said at a daily briefing in Beijing. The law, signed last Wednesday by President Trump, mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the favorable trade status that Washington grants Hong Kong. Along with suspending visits by official US military ships and aircraft, Hua said China would sanction organizations including the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Human Rights Watch, the International Republican Institute, Freedom House, and others that she said had "performed badly."
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