China said it would prevent U.S. Navy ships from stopping in Hong Kong, just days after President Trump signed legislation supporting pro-democracy demonstrators.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday that the prohibition is effective immediately. Hua also said that China would sanction a number of U.S. human rights organizations that have been reporting on the Hong Kong protests.
“In response to the unreasonable behaviors of the U.S. side, the Chinese government decides to suspend the review of requests by U.S. military ships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong as of today,” Hua said.
Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act on Wednesday after Congress passed with nearly unanimous support. The bill requires the State Department to conduct annual reviews of Hong Kong’s autonomy and would allow the United States to impose sanctions or put a hold on Hong Kong’s unique trading status if it violates human rights.
“I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong. They are being enacted in the hope that leaders and representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences, leading to long term peace and prosperity for all,” Trump said.
Protesters in Hong Kong were seen waving American flags after passage of the legislation.
Hong Kong has been roiled by pro-democracy protests, some of them violent, for months. Those demonstrating are working for less control by the Chinese government over the semi-autonomous region.
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