US imposes visa restrictions on Chinese officials over HK security law

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (File Photo: IANS)

Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said that Washington was imposing visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials believed to be responsible for the national security law for Hong Kong, the media reported.

On Friday, Pompeo said the sanctions targeted “current and former” party officials, reports the BBC.

China has proposed the 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.

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.

Responding to the move, the Chinese Embassy in Washington said on Saturday that it “firmly opposes the US side’s wrongful decisions”.

In a statement posted on Twitter, the Embassy added: “We urge the US side to immediately correct its mistakes, withdraw the decision and stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs.”

Last month, President Donald Trump had also said that he would start to end preferential treatment for Hong Kong in trade and travel, in response to China’s plans, the BBC reported.

He said Beijing was replacing “its promised formula of One Country, Two Systems with One Country, One System”.

IANS

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