US imposes visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials over Hong Kong autonomy

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday said that the United States was imposing visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party officials believed responsible for restricting freedoms in Hong Kong.

Pompeo said the move followed President Donald Trump’s promise to punish Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.

“President @realDonaldTrump promised to punish the CCP officials responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms. Today, we are taking action to do just that– we’ve announced visa restrictions on CCP officials responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and human right,” Pompeo tweeted.

Responding to the move, the Chinese embassy in the United States said it “firmly opposes the US side’s wrongful decisions”.

In a statement, the Spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy said, “Hong Kong is part of China. Hong Kong affairs are China’s domestic affairs that allow no external interference. Legislating on national security is a power and obligation of the central government, and also an international practice. The Hong Kong national security legislation targets a very narrow category of acts that seriously jeopardize national security. It will improve Hong Kong’s legal system, bring more stability to Hong Kong, and contribute to the practice of “One Country, Two Systems” and Hong Kong’s long-term prosperity and stability.”

“We urge the US side to immediately correct its mistakes, withdraw the decisions and stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs,” the statement said.

“The Chinese side will continue to take strong measures to uphold national sovereignty, security and development interests,” it said.