China revokes US officials' visa exemption over 'vile' attitude concerning Hong Kong
Iran Press TV
Thursday, 10 December 2020 3:22 PM
China says it is to revoke American diplomatic passport holders' exemption from the need to obtain visas to travel to Hong Kong over their "vile" behavior concerning the Chinese territory.
The move, announced by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Thursday, came less than a week after the United States targeted 14 Chinese officials for asset freeze and travel ban, Reuters reported.
China would impose "sanctions on US executive officials, congressional personnel, non-governmental organization personnel... who have performed badly on Hong Kong-related issues," Hua noted.
China's announcement came after on Monday, Washington said it was freezing any US assets and barring travel to the United States for 14 vice chairs of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, which spearheaded what the US calls "the tough new law" on Hong Kong security.
The sanctions were to be adopted "in view of the United States' using Hong Kong-related issues to seriously interfere in China's internal affairs," the spokeswoman likewise said, calling on Washington to "stop going further down a wrong and dangerous path."
It is not clear yet when the Chinese sanctions would go into force or whom they are supposed to be levied against.
The US has ramped up its mudslinging campaign against China since June 2019, when anti-government protests started in Hong Kong over a proposed extradition bill.
Washington has gone as far as slapping sanctions against Hong Kong's leader Carrie Lam, whom it accuses of a pro-Beijing leaning.
Although the extradition law was later shelved, the demonstrations continued for the following several months and became more violent, endangering the lives and property of local citizens. Protesters also called for Hong Kong's secession from China.
Beijing that considers Washington to be behind the protests was then forced to introduce a national security law to avert foreign interference and secession.
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