China to suspend US Navy visits to Hong Kong over new law

China to suspend US Navy visits to Hong Kong over new law

That rally followed two other marches earlier Sunday as protesters sought to keep the pressure on city leader Carrie Lam after the recent win by the pro-democracy camp in district council elections and the gaining of U.S. support for their cause.

China announced Monday that it will suspend U.S. Navy visits to Hong Kong in retaliation over President Trump's decision to sign legislation that supported the city's pro-democracy protesters who have taken to the streets since June.

The foreign ministry said it would suspend the reviewing of applications to visit Hong Kong by U.S. military ships and aircraft from Monday - and warned that further action could come.

"We urge the USA to correct the mistakes and stop interfering in our internal affairs", ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.

Hua said they would also apply sanctions to a number of US-based NGOs, although she failed to give any specifics over the form the measures would take.

However, it sends a signal that US-China tensions will continue to deepen, he told AFP news agency.

Several US Navy ships usually visit Hong Kong every year, although visits are sometimes suspended when ties between the two countries become strained.

Waving American flags, black-clad protesters marched to the U.S. Consulate to thank Trump for signing into law last week legislation supporting their cause and urged him to swiftly sanction Lam and other officials for suppressing human rights.

There was "already a large amount of facts and evidence that make it clear that these non-governmental organisations support anti-China" forces and "incite separatist activities for Hong Kong independence", Hua said.

The Foreign Ministry in August distributed a lengthy report that named the a US intelligence front and listed its history of funding political groups in Hong Kong going back 20 years. The US could revoke the special trading status it has granted the territory if China undermines the city's rights and freedoms.

Analysts say the move could complicate negotiations between China and the United States to end their trade war.

But the majority of demonstrators who gathered Sunday seemed determined to refocus attention on the issues at the heart of the movement that has roiled Hong Kong for months.

Tear gas was sacked Sunday as police tried to disperse protests in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui when a group of radical protesters started hurling bricks at officers during a public protest.

China denies interfering and says it is committed to the "one country, two systems" formula put in place in the Asian financial hub in 1997. Few of the groups have staff on China's mainland.

During the months of turmoil, police and protesters have been engaging in increasingly violent clashes.

The bill was eventually withdrawn but unrest evolved into a broader protest against the police and the way Hong Kong is administered by Beijing.



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