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Iran Press TV

China hits back at US House over Hong Kong bills

Iran Press TV

Wed Oct 16, 2019 07:13AM

China has censured the passing of measures at the United States House of Representatives in support of the protesters in Hong Kong, calling it interference in the affairs of the city.

The Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that Beijing "resolutely opposed" the bills, passed a day earlier, and would take "strong countermeasures."

"China must take effective measures to firmly safeguard its sovereignty, security, and development interests," said ministry spokesman Geng Shuang in a statement.

The House on Tuesday unanimously passed measures to support the protesters in Hong Kong. China had repeatedly warned against the ratification of at least one bill, the so-called Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

The measures will be sent to the Senate for a vote, and US President Donald Trump will then have to sign the measures for them to become law.

In his Wednesday remarks, Geng said Beijing's relationship with Washington would be damaged if that happened.

He also said that "external forces" were heightening the unrest in Hong Kong.

China has repeatedly warned that expressions of support for the violent protests in Hong Kong exacerbate the situation.

The government in Hong Kong similarly reacted to the votes at the US House of Representatives, saying, "Foreign legislatures should not interfere [in the city's affairs] in any form."

The semi-autonomous Chinese territory has been the scene of protests since June, when people took to the streets initially against a proposed extradition bill. The bill was later withdrawn, but the protests continued and took on an increasingly violent form.

Hong Kong has been governed under a "one-country, two-system" model since the city, a former British colony, was returned to China in 1997.

The protesters now want complete separation from mainland China.

Opp. lawmakers disrupt Hong Kong leader's speech

Meanwhile, several opposition lawmakers at Hong Kong's Legislative Council provoked chaotic scenes and disrupted an annual speech by the city's Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

The opposition lawmakers, who form a minority in the chamber, started to chant slogans against the government as she entered the building on Wednesday.

She later left the chamber and issued her address via video.

In her speech, Lam once again warned against violence, saying it would spread hatred and damage the city's core values.

She said her government would continue to uphold the "one country, two systems" formula.

Lam said the protests had caused injury to more than 1,100 people and led to the arrest of over 2,200.

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