After Washington imposed visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials for “undermining Hong Kong autonomy and human rights,” China decided on June 29 to take similar action against Americans.
China announced on Monday, June 29, visa restrictions against ‘misbehaving’ Americans over controversial national security law in Hong Kong Autonomous Territory and pending adoption.
Ignoring calls from Western countries and the Hong Kong pro-democracy opposition, Beijing intends to impose this text, which, according to its detractors, threatens the autonomy and freedoms of the former British colony.
Returned to China in 1997, Hong Kong was rocked last year by massive protests against the influence of the central government.
Scalded by these events, Beijing has developed in a few weeks a text which bypasses the local legislative council, making fear with the Honkongese opposition an unprecedented decline of freedoms in the city of 7.5 million inhabitants.
The law, currently under discussion in the Chinese national parliament, could be adopted in the coming hours. It intends to suppress separatism, terrorism, subversion, and cooperation with foreign forces.
Anticipating the passage of this text to which it is opposed, Washington had announced on Friday visa restrictions targeting certain Chinese officials accused of calling into question the Hong Kong autonomy.
“The United States will never succeed in obstructing China’s efforts to advance Hong Kong’s national security laws,” said Zhao Lijian, a spokesman for the Chinese foreign ministry, on Monday, June 29.
“In response to the [measures announced by the] United States, China has decided to impose visa restrictions on US nationals who have misbehaved in relation to Hong Kong issues,” he announced at a regular press briefing.
China announced last month the bill, which was immediately judged by the Hong Kong opposition as a way to silence the pro-democracy movement.
For Beijing, it is a question of putting an end to the violence which enameled the demonstrations of 2019 and of repressing the pro-independence current in the territory.
Since the handover, Hong Kong has enjoyed considerable autonomy from the rest of the country ruled by the Communist Party, under the principle of “One country, two systems”. Its inhabitants benefit, in particular, from freedom of expression, freedom of the press, and independent justice.