News ID: 261842
Published: 1013 GMT November 20, 2019

China summons US diplomat over meddling in Hong Kong

China summons US diplomat over meddling in Hong Kong

China made stern representations to a representative of the US Embassy in Beijing on Wednesday after the Senate unanimously passed legislation on human rights in Hong Kong.

In a statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu summoned William Klein, the US Embassy’s minister counselor for political affairs.

Ma told Klein the situation in Hong Kong was part of China’s internal affairs and demanded that the US stop its meddling, the ministry added, according to Reuters.

The US Senate unanimously passed the legislation on Tuesday aimed at what it said protecting human rights in Hong Kong amid anti-government protests which started in June against a China extradition bill.

Following the voice vote, the “Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act” will go to the House of Representatives, which approved its own version last month. The two chambers will have to work out their differences before any legislation can be sent to President Donald Trump for his consideration.

“The people of Hong Kong see what’s coming – they see the steady effort to erode the autonomy and their freedoms,” Republican Senator Marco Rubio said at the start of the brief Senate debate, accusing Beijing of being behind the “violence and repression” in the Asian financial hub.

The Senate passed a second bill, also unanimously, that would ban the export of certain crowd-control munitions to Hong Kong police forces. It bans the export of items such as tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and stun guns.

China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang condemned the passage of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, and vowed strong countermeasures to safeguard its sovereignty and security.

“This act neglects facts and truth, applies double standards and blatantly interferes in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs,” Geng Shuang said in a statement.

“It is in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. China condemns and firmly opposes it.”

The United States must immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs, or “the negative consequences will boomerang on itself”, Geng added.

Pompeo said on Monday the United States was gravely concerned about Hong Kong’s deepening unrest and violence, urging the city’s government to tackle public concerns and China to honor the promises it made to maintain liberties after taking back the territory from British rule in 1997.

Pompeo addressed the issue again on Tuesday before leaving the United States for a NATO meeting in Brussels.

In a post on Twitter on Wednesday, China’s Embassy in the United States said, “The democracy and human rights held so dearly by the American people are once again abused by some American politicians to justify violence and disorder.”

It added, “Do they want to side with the rioters? SAD!”


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