China summoned U.S. Ambassador Terry Brandstad on Thursday to demand that the United States stop interfering with their internal affairs immediately.
They say the U.S.’s involvement in the ongoing protests in Hong Kong are further damaging bilateral relations, China’s foreign ministry said.
In a statement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China has condemned a new bill signed by President Donald Trump supporting protesters.
‘The US side has signed into law the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. This is a severe interference in Hong Kong affairs, which are China’s internal affairs,’ the statement read.
China’s officials have summoned U.S. Ambassador Terry Brandstad on Thursday to demand the Trump administration immediately stop interfering in internal affairs
‘It is also in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations. The Chinese government and the people firmly oppose such stark hegemonic acts.’
The statement continued to say that the US has been ignoring facts and indulging falsities.
The statement continued: ‘The US has been disregarding facts and distorting truth. It openly backed violent criminals who rampantly smashed facilities, set fire, assaulted innocent civilians, trampled on the rule of law, and jeopardized social order.’
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs released a statement on Thursday formally condemning the Trump administration’s bill and said the US is ‘disregarding facts and distorting truth’
In direct response to Trumps’ bill, the ministry has said the China’s people stand together and US attempts will be unsuccessful.
‘This Act will only further expose the malicious and hegemonic nature of US intentions to the Chinese people, including our Hong Kong compatriots. And the Chinese people will only stand in greater solidarity,’ they said.
‘The US attempts are bound to fail.’
President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed two bills aimed at supporting human rights and pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
Pictured: Riot police break up a group of anti-government protesters inside a a shopping mall in Tai Po, Hong Kong, China
The move has angered China, which has reacted furiously by warning that the U.S. will bear unspecified consequences.
A foreign ministry statement Thursday repeated heated condemnations of the law and says China will counteract. It says all the people of Hong Kong and China oppose the move.
‘The nature of this is extremely abominable, and harbors absolutely sinister intentions,’ the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.
Pictured: A rioter in Hong Kong setting fire and destroying a public facility outside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Protesters who clashed with police in Hong Kong in August burned cardboard to create a barrier from law enforcement
In Hong Kong, the government expressed ‘extreme regret’ after Trump signed legislation requiring an annual review of freedoms in Hong Kong and banning the sale of crowd control equipment like tear gas.
‘The two acts are obviously interfering in Hong Kong’s internal affairs,’ the city government said in a statement, warning the move would ‘send the wrong message to the protesters’.
And Beijing’s liaison office in the city condemned Washington’s ‘disgusting conduct’, saying it would bring ‘trouble and chaos’ to Hong Kong.
Hong Kong protests have asked for five demands, including the release of people arrested during the release of protesters who were arrested and charged
It´s still unclear, however, how China will respond exactly.
Tensions in Hong Kong have escalated to the point where police ringed the Polytechnic University campus for 11 days as protesters retreated into the campus after blocking a major tunnel and set toll booths on fire during clashes with police. Some 1,100 protesters have left or have been arrested.
What do Hong Kong protesters want?
Apart from the resignation of Chief Executive Carrie Lam, Hong Kong demonstrators have listed five demands and have continued to urge the government to respond to them.
These five demands are:
1. A complete withdrawal of the extradition bill
2. A retraction from the government to its characterisation that the protesters were ‘rioters’
3. Unconditional and immediate release of protesters who were arrested and charges against them dropped
4. Establishment of an independent inquiry to investigate police violence during clashes
5. Genuine universal suffrage
Lam has promised to withdraw the bill, but is yet to agree to the rest.
More than 5,000 people have been detained since the unrest started in June over a China extradition bill seen as an erosion of freedoms promised when the former British colony returned to Chinese control in 1997. The movement has since expanded into wider demands, including universal suffrage and an independent investigation of police conduct.
Trump signed the bills, which were approved by near unanimous consent in the House and Senate, even as he expressed some concerns about complicating the effort to work out a trade deal with China´s President Xi Jinping.
‘I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong,’ Trump said in a statement. ‘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.’
Congress approved the bills last week following months of unrest in the semi-autonomous Chinese city. Before Wednesday’s signing announcement, Trump would only commit to giving the measures a ‘hard look.’
Pictured: An anti-government protester holding a press conference at Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Wednesday
The ongoing demonstrations were sparked by the Fugitive Offenders amendment bill by the Hong Kong government
China had threatened to take unspecified, ‘strong countermeasures’ if the bills were signed into law.
The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses and requires an annual review of the favorable trade status that Washington grants Hong Kong.
Another bill prohibits export to Hong Kong police of certain nonlethal munitions, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, water cannons, stun guns and tasers.
Chinese law enforcement has surrounded the university while protesters barricaded themselves inside
Hong Kong Polytechnic University (pictured) has become one of the main bases where rioters and protester have gathered
The munitions bill was passed unanimously, while Republican Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky was the sole House member to oppose the human rights bill.
Trump acknowledged last week that he was weighing the ramifications of signing the bill.
‘Look, we have to stand with Hong Kong,’ Trump said in an interview on ‘Fox & Friends.’ He continued: ‘But I´m also standing with President Xi. He´s a friend of mine. He´s an incredible guy.’
The bills will impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who commit human rights abuses and bans the export of munitions to Hong Kong police
Pictured: a barricade at the university made out of an assortment of items, including a chair, pieces of wood and other items
Democratic and Republican lawmakers applauded the signing of the bills. Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said it ‘finally sends a clear and unequivocal message to the people of Hong Kong: We are with you.’
Sen. Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican and chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the bills are ‘an important step forward in holding the Chinese Communist Party accountable for its erosion of Hong Kong´s autonomy and its repression of fundamental human rights.’
Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., who sponsored the House human rights bill, said Xi ‘should understand that the U.S. is not kidding about human rights. Beating, torturing and jailing of democracy activists is wrong and this historic legislation lets China know that respecting fundamental human rights is paramount.’