Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (File pic)
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang (File pic)

China warns US of 'counter measures' if Trump signs Bills related to Hong Kong

ANI | Updated: Nov 21, 2019 22:15 IST

Beijing [China], Nov 21 (ANI): China has called upon US President Donald Trump to veto the legislation aimed at supporting Hong Kong's pro-democracy protest movement, warning that it will retaliate with counter-measures if the Congress-backed bills become law.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act undermines Beijing's interests in the semi-autonomous territory, which has been rocked by months of anti-government demonstrations, Al Jazeera reported on Thursday.
"We urge the US to grasp the situation, stop its wrongdoing before it's too late, prevent this act from becoming law [and] immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs," Geng was quoted as saying at a news briefing.
"If the US continues to make the wrong moves, China will be taking strong countermeasures for sure," he added.
The Act mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who allegedly carry out human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the favourable trade status that Washington grants to Hong Kong.
Another Bill prohibits export to Hong Kong police of certain non-lethal munitions, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, water cannon, stun guns and tasers.
The US House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the bills on Wednesday, a day after the Senate passed them on voice votes.
The bills have now been sent to the White House for Trump's consideration. White House officials have indicated that the US President will sign-off on the measures.
If they become law, the tension between Washington and Beijing is likely to increase, casting a shadow over delicate talks aimed at ending the continuing US-China trade war.
Hong Kong's government, for its part, has also expressed its strong opposition to the legislation, saying it would damage the territory's relations with the US.
"The two acts will ... also send an erroneous signal to the violent protesters, which would not be conducive to de-escalating the situation," the city government said in a statement on Thursday.
The financial hub has already been pushed into a recession by the continuing turmoil. (ANI)