China imposes sanctions on US NGOs over Hong Kong rights law

05 Décembre, 2019, 01:32 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • A pro-democracy supporter holds up a card which reads

Lam told reporters the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act signed into US law last week was "wholly unnecessary", as the former British colony grapples with its first recession in a decade.

"Rather tha (n) target an organisation that seeks to defend the rights of the people of Hong Kong, the Chinese government should respect those rights", said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, in a statement.

Lam said approvals for such port visits were a matter for China's foreign ministry.

"We urge the U.S.to correct the mistakes and stop interfering in our internal affairs".

While China has in the past suspended visits by US military ships and aircraft, sanctioning NGOs, especially those with connections to the USA government, would bring conditions for civil society in Hong Kong significantly closer to those in mainland China.

China claims sovereignty over 90 percent of the South China Sea, despite the fact that a United Nations legal judgment in 2016 refuted Beijing's claims.

China said on Monday U.S. military ships and aircraft would not be allowed to visit Hong Kong, and also announced sanctions against several U.S. non-government organizations for encouraging protesters to "engage in extremist, violent and criminal acts".

There are fears that the dispute over Hong Kong could impact efforts by Beijing and Washington to reach a preliminary deal to de-escalate a prolonged trade war between the world's two largest economies. She questioned what was "not being protected now".

"They shoulder some responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong and they should be sanctioned and pay the price", said Hua.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking to students in Kentucky, said that Hong Kong demonstrators want "what our next generation of Americans wants - they want freedom, the chance to raise a family, to practice their faith in the way that they want". It said the mask ban was a "disproportionate restriction on peaceful assembly rights".

Pro-democracy activist group Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which has canceled multiple planned marches after failing to secure police's approval, announced on its Facebook page that it is now waiting police approval for its planned march on December 8.

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Companies "will be anxious about the actions the US government may take in the future after they review this legislation", she said.

Last Thursday, US President Donald Trump signed the act into law.

When asked about the protests in the past weekend, Lam said it was regrettable that there had been violence again, with roadblocks and petrol bombs thrown in Kowloon.

Amnesty International said today it believes more than 200 people were killed in Iran during November protests and the ensuing crackdown.

Protesters are also calling for an independent inquiry into the way police have handled anti-government rallies.

In response to Lam's press conference, pro-democracy lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting criticized Lam for neglecting instances of human rights violations, according to Hong Kong media RTHK.

Human Rights Watch said it had received "no communications from the Chinese government" about what the sanctions mean.

The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

Hong Kong, the former British colony, was handed over to Beijing in 1997, after the two sides inked the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration. Hong Kong is famously a top shopping destination for Chinese tourists.

Epoch Times staff Annie Wu contributed to this article.

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