Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying: She announced that sanctions were being imposed on MPs who behaved “badly” towards Hong Kong. (Source: Kyodo News / Image Images)

There is a new development in the conflict between the US and China: Hong Kong stipulates, among other things, that US government officials may no longer enter the country without a visa.

China has canceled visa-free entry for its diplomats in Hong Kong and Macau. Also, unspecified sanctions are imposed on US government officials, congressmen, representatives of nongovernmental organizations and their close relatives who are behaving ‘badly’ towards Hong Kong from the perspective of the Chinese government, such as State Department spokeswoman Hua Chunying, told the press Thursday. reported in Beijing.

The move is in response to US sanctions against 14 vice chairmen of the Standing Committee of the People’s Congress that passed Hong Kong’s controversial security law in late June. It targets activities in China’s Special Administrative Region, which Beijing views as subversive, separatist, terrorist or conspiratorial.

Law as an infringement of autonomy

The law is the most far-reaching breach of the autonomy of the former British crown colony to date and gives China’s state security extensive powers in its independent territory. From the critics’ point of view, it marks the end of the “one country, two systems” principle, according to which Hong Kong has been governed autonomously since it was returned to China in 1997, with far-reaching freedoms for its seven million inhabitants.

The spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spoke of “mutual” sanctions. The US interfered in China’s internal affairs, harming China’s “core interests”. The US should stay out of Hong Kong, Hua Chunying demanded. In protest, the State Department summoned the current head of the US embassy in Beijing, Robert Forden, on Monday.

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