Published: 12:44, December 11, 2020 | Updated: 08:31, June 5, 2023
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Reciprocal sanctions imposed on certain US individuals
By Zhou Jin

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying (PHOTO / WWW.FMPRC.GOV.CN)

China announced reciprocal sanctions on Thursday against US officials and personnel for their egregious behavior on Hong Kong issues, and the revoking of visa exemption treatment for US diplomatic passport holders paying temporary visits to Hong Kong and Macao.

The sanctions will be imposed on US executive officials, congressional members and nongovernmental organization personnel who have performed badly on Hong Kong-related issues, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a news briefing.

Their immediate family members will also be affected, Hua said.

Citizens of the United States enjoy visa-free entry to Hong Kong for 90-day stays for visits and tourism.

The countermeasures were taken in response to US sanctions, which were announced on Monday, on 14 vice-chairpersons of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, citing the committee's decision to enact the National Security Law for Hong Kong and another decision that led to the disqualification of four Hong Kong opposition lawmakers.

The US sanctions have been strongly opposed and condemned by a number of government bodies in China, including the Foreign Ministry and the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, as well as the government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

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Vice-Foreign Minister Zheng Zeguang on Tuesday summoned Robert W. Forden, charge d'affaires of the United States embassy in Beijing, to protest over the sanctions.

The US has been using the Hong Kong issue to interfere in China's domestic affairs and damage the country's core interests, Hua said.

Additional visa restrictions have sent a signal that if the US repeatedly meddles in Hong Kong affairs, China will not rule out stronger responses.

Zhang Tengjun, an assistant research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies

China again urged Washington to immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs and stop interfering in China's domestic affairs, and not go further down this dangerous and wrong path, she said.

Zhang Tengjun, an assistant research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies, said that China's countermeasures are "a timely response", showing that China will not ignore the vicious US sanctions, which target senior Chinese officials.

"Additional visa restrictions have sent a signal that if the US repeatedly meddles in Hong Kong affairs, China will not rule out stronger responses," Zhang said.

The canceling of the visa exemption treatment will put pressure on some US diplomats who may be colluding with anti-China extremists in Hong Kong to refrain from engaging in such activities, he said.

Before the sanctions that were announced on Monday, the US has announced sanctions on 15 officials from the Chinese mainland and the HKSAR, including the SAR's Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and her key aides.

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Contact the writer at zhoujin@chinadaily.com.cn