China says will counter any US actions over Hong Kong Bill

China says will counter any US actions over Hong Kong Bill

Chinese President Xi Jinping on a video screen in Hong Kong during a live broadcast of the NPC.
Chinese President Xi Jinping is shown on a video screen (top centre) in Hong Kong on May 28, during a live broadcast of the National People’s Congress in Beijing. (Photo: AFP/Anthony Wallace) 

BEIJING: China said on Friday (May 29) it will take any necessary countermeasures if the United States insists on interfering in Beijing's internal affairs and taking action in response to the Hong Kong security Bill ratified by China's parliament on Thursday.

Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a daily briefing. 

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He said Beijing had also lodged representations to the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia in response to those countries' joint statement criticising Beijing for the security bill.

"Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of freedom," the countries said in the statement, adding their "deep concern regarding Beijing's decision to impose a national security law in Hong Kong".

They said the new legislation would "curtail the Hong Kong people's liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kong's autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous".​​​​​​​

"We are also extremely concerned that this action will exacerbate the existing deep divisions in Hong Kong society," the countries said. 

READ: Hong Kong loses US 'special status' - what next?

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China's parliament on Thursday approved the plans for the law, which followed seven months of huge and sometimes violent protests in Hong Kong last year.

The planned law would punish secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and acts that endanger national security, as well as allow Chinese security agencies to operate openly in Hong Kong.

The Chinese parliament's vote came just hours after Washington revoked the special status conferred on Hong Kong, paving the way for the territory to be stripped of trading and economic privileges.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the status had been withdrawn because China was no longer honouring its handover agreement with Britain to allow Hong Kong a high level of autonomy.

MORE: Our coverage of the Hong Kong protests

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Source: Agencies/ad

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