International Asia China threatens to 'counter-attack' US over Hong Kong curbs

China threatens to ‘counter-attack’ US over Hong Kong curbs

China also said ongoing unrest in the US highlighted its severe problems of racism and police violence -- and exposed Washington's double standards in supporting Hong Kong's protesters.

Author

Date

Category

- Advertisement -

by Beiyi Seow and Jing Xuan Teng

Beijing warned Washington Monday of retaliation after President Donald Trump announced restrictions on Chinese students in the US in protest against a new national security law in Hong Kong.

China also said ongoing unrest in the US highlighted its severe problems of racism and police violence — and exposed Washington’s double standards in supporting Hong Kong’s protesters.

The two sides have clashed repeatedly on different topics and on Friday Trump said he would restrict Chinese graduate students and start reversing the special status enjoyed by semi-autonomous Hong Kong in customs and other areas.

- Advertisement -

Beijing reacted angrily to the moves, saying it was “detrimental to both sides”.

“Any words and actions that harm the interests of China will be met with counter-attacks on the Chinese side,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian at a press briefing Monday.

He said that Washington’s measures “seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs and undermine US-China relations”.

China’s rubber-stamp parliament on Thursday approved the plans for the law, which would punish secession, subversion of state power, terrorism and acts that endanger national security — as well as allow Chinese security agencies to operate openly in Hong Kong.

The move followed seven months of huge and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong last year.

It was condemned by pro-democracy activists and Western nations as another attempt to chip away at the city’s freedoms.

Hong Kong police on Monday banned an upcoming vigil marking the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary citing the coronavirus pandemic, the first time the gathering has been halted in three decades.

The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed.

– ‘Can’t breathe’ -In Beijing, Zhao also seized on ongoing anti-racism protests in the US to accuse the US of hypocrisy, calling racism “a chronic disease of American society”.

Washington’s response to the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of police was a “textbook example of its world-famous double standards”, Zhao said.

“Why does the US lionize the so-called Hong Kong independence and black violence elements as heroes and activists, while calling people who protest against racism ‘rioters’?” Zhao asked.

Protests and rallies, sometimes violent, were sweeping the United States over the death of Floyd.

The US Department of Defense said that around 5,000 National Guard troops had been mobilized in 15 states as well as the capital, with another 2,000 on standby.

Beijing has long been infuriated by criticism from Western governments — especially the United States — over its crackdown on protesters in Hong Kong.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying took aim at Washington on Saturday.

“I can’t breathe,” she said on Twitter, with a screenshot of a tweet by US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus that had criticised China’s policy in Hong Kong.

Hua was quoting the words Floyd was heard saying repeatedly before his death in Minneapolis — after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

The police officer has since been charged with third-degree murder.

bys-rox-tjx/fox

© 1994-2020 Agence France-Presse
/AFPFollow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Shanmugam challenges opposition to debate on CECA, leaders respond

Singapore— Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam ended a speech in  Parliament on Tuesday (May 11) by challenging Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai to a debate on CECA, the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.  Mr Leong, who is from the Progress...

K Shanmugam: If SG goes down racist route, eventually all Indians can be a target of hate

Singapore—In the wake of a hate crime last Friday (May 7) when a 55-year-old Singaporean-Indian woman was kicked in the chest and called racial slurs, racism and xenophobia were discussed in Parliament on Tuesday (May 11).  Minister for Law and Home Affairs...

Van beats traffic light and almost hits a woman pushing a baby in a stroller

Singapore - A Toyota Hiace van beat the traffic light and almost hit a woman who was crossing the road, pushing a baby in a stroller. Camera footage from another car showed that the Toyota Hiace driver picked up speed instead of...
Follow us on Social Media

Send in your scoops to news@theindependent.sg 

Theindependent