China says countermeasures ready for U.S. sanctions on Chinese officials
Updated 21:40, 08-Dec-2020

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying on Tuesday said that China will announce strong countermeasures at an "appropriate time" against sanctions by the United States targeting Chinese officials in charge of Hong Kong affairs. 

The U.S. imposed sanctions on up to 14 officials over their alleged role in "Beijing's disqualification of elected opposition legislators" in China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), including officials in China's top legislature and the Communist Party of China (CPC). The measures include freezing their assets and travel bans. 

During a press briefing on Tuesday, the Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the U.S. has been interfering in China's Hong Kong affairs for a while and claimed that the country was supporting subversive activities.

Skyline of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), China. /VCG

Skyline of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR), China. /VCG

Hua said that the fresh sanctions are part of a pattern by the current U.S. administration in targeting senior Chinese officials, which Hua described as "cementing efforts on its pressure campaign against China."

She reiterated that China firmly opposes U.S. interference in Hong Kong affairs and is determined to safeguard its national sovereignty and development interests as well as the "One Country, Two Systems" principle.

The Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of China's State Council also said that the U.S. sanctions count as political bullying and are against international law and basic norms of international relations, according to a statement released on Tuesday. 

The statement asserted that the sanctions are aimed at obstructing the implementation of national security legislation in the HKSAR.

Every time the U.S. issues sanctions, the office said in the statement, it only makes Chinese people more determined to safeguard their national security.

Certain U.S. officials will only reap what they sow if they continue to do so, the statement said.

A spokesperson for the Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the HKSAR pointed out that any sovereign nation carries the responsibility to safeguard its national security, and China's national legislations for HKSAR, a common international practice, have closed a legal loophole in the region.

In fact, the U.S. rules that members of its Congress are subject to the Constitution, and historically, there were more than 20 U.S. congressmen who had their qualifications revoked for violating certain rules, the spokesperson said in a statement released late Tuesday.

The spokesperson stressed that HKSAR belongs to China, and all countries in the world will address any activities of subversion and treason conducted by its public officers.

"The U.S. is the largest disruptor and destroyer of the implementation of the 'One Country, Two Systems' principle in HKSAR," the spokesperson said.

(Cover: The Chinese national flag and the flag of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) fly above the Golden Bauhinia Square in Hong Kong, China, August 5, 2019. /Xinhua)