China to impose visa restrictions on U.S. individuals over Hong Kong

Marco Green
June 30, 2020

The move was threatened to be issued a month ago, when President Donald Trump said the USA would revoke HKSAR's special privileges following China's decision on national security legislation.

The new law will mean that the U.S.

Police arrested 53 people on Sunday at the scene of a rally against the national security legislation, which will see China's feared state security police stationed in the city to oversee the law's implementation.

China has yet to make public any detailed provision of the law, which it claims has widespread support in Hong Kong. "Targeted sanctions will not, by themselves, change the stance of the Chinese government towards Hong Kong". The city's July 1 holiday has always been marked by a large protest march by opposition groups, under the umbrella of the Civil Human Rights Front. The law would criminalize those who engage in activities connected to "subversion, secession, terrorism, and foreign interference" against the Chinese regime. It follows a year of unrest in Hong Kong, which sometimes descended into violent clashes between police and protesters.

Trump stopped short of calling for an immediate end to privileges, but said the moves would affect the full range of USA agreements with Hong Kong, from an extradition treaty to export controls on dual-use technologies and more "with few exceptions".

The unanimous passage of the law by China's top legislature veers Beijing's relationship with other major powers into deeper uncertainty.

The national security law is expected to pass before Tuesday.

After months of sometimes-violent protests in Hong Kong against Beijing's encroachment last year, the new security law has heightened doubts about Hong Kong's future as a global financial hub and a regional base for worldwide companies that for years were drawn by the city's relative freedoms.

The U.S. Senate also approved a bill last week that would impose mandatory sanctions on people or companies that back efforts to restrict Hong Kong's autonomy.

The national security law "will be deliberated for a vote" by June 30, when the NPC meeting ends, according to Ip Kwok-him, a Hong Kong representative to the NPC and a cabinet member of the Hong Kong government, who was cited in the Global Times report.

Hong Kong was supposed to maintain a high degree of autonomy from China for 50 years after the British returned the colony in 1997 under a special one-country, two-systems arrangement.

Hong Kong's benchmark Hang Seng Index was up 0.2% in early afternoon trading Tuesday.

Zhao, the foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters that China has lodged a complaint with the US over the bill and warned that Beijing will respond with strong countermeasures in response to USA actions on Hong Kong.

A security commission directly reporting to the central government will also be set up in the territory, the report said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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