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China Retaliates Against US Signing Hong Kong Rights Bill

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Chinese government has retaliated against President Donald Trump signing the the Hong Kong Rights Bill by denying permission to U.S. aircraft and warships to visit Hong Kong.

Beijing also imposed sanctions on a number of U.S.-based pro-democracy, human rights NGOs saying that they support extremist, violent activities in Hong Kong. They include Human Rights Watch, National Endowment for Democracy, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Freedom House and International Republican Institute.

At a press conference in Beijing on Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying put the blame on these organizations for Hong Kong's chaotic situation and said they must pay the price for it.

She also said the Foreign Ministry will suspend reviewing applications to visit Hong Kong by U.S. military ships and aircraft.

"China urges the U.S. to correct its mistake and stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs or interfering in China's other internal affairs by any word and act," she told reporters.

After Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 into law last week, China had warned it would take countermeasures, and that the United States would have to bear its consequences.

Both Houses of Congress passed the legislation that declares solidarity with the protesters' fight for human rights and democracy in Hong Kong and making the Chinese territory's special status granted by Washington conditional.

The Congress also approved another Bill banning sales of tear gas, rubber bullets, and other equipment used by Hong Kong security forces.

The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act would require the Secretary of State to annually review whether Hong Kong still retains enough autonomy to warrant favorable trade status from Washington, and threatens to revoke it if the semi-autonomous region fails to ensure freedom and human rights.

It also calls for imposing sanctions against officials responsible for human rights violations in Hong Kong.

The U.S. legislation was in response to violent crackdown on massive pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

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