BEIJING: China’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday (Oct 16) that Beijing resolutely opposed new measures passed by the US House of Representatives related to the Hong Kong protests and urged lawmakers to stop interfering.
“We express our strong indignation and firm opposition to the US House of Representatives’ insistence on passing the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act,” said foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang.
China’s relationship with the United States will be damaged should the legislation become law, he added.
The two countries are currently in talks to resolve an ongoing trade war that saw increased tariffs on billions of dollars in exports.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, one of the measures passed by the House, would require the US secretary of state to certify each year that Hong Kong retained its autonomy in order to receive special treatment as a major financial centre.
The House also passed the Protect Hong Kong Act, which would ban commercial exports of military and crowd control items that can be used by Hong Kong police against protesters, and a non-binding resolution recognising the city’s relationship with the US.
The Senate is yet to schedule votes on the legislation, which would send the measures to President Donald Trump to sign into law or veto.
READ: Tens of thousands of Hong Kong protesters call for US support in first approved rally in weeks
Hong Kong has seen increasingly violent protests in recent months, as demonstrators pushed for greater democratic freedoms and police accountability.
On Monday, thousands gathered in Admiralty to urge the US to pass the measures, in the city’s first approved rally since the introduction of colonial-era emergency powers earlier this month.