China has lambasted a recent hostile move by the administration of US President Joe Biden against Hong Kong, saying it will not accept “American bullying” and warning of a firm response.
On Friday, the departments of State, Treasury Commerce and Homeland Security issued a business advisory, warning American businesses about the risks to their operations in Hong Kong.
The US Treasury Department said new laws in Hong Kong, such as the National Security Law (NSL), could affect American companies.
The US administration also imposed sanctions on seven Chinese officials in China's Hong Kong Liaison over what it claimed to be Beijing's crackdown on democracy there.
In response, the office of the Commissioner of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China said the US move had seriously violated international law and basic norms governing international relations, adding that it aimed to smear Hong Kong's business environment and interfere in China's internal affairs.
“The US side once again used tricks like sanctions to pressure China, arbitrarily interfered in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs at large, and grossly trampled on international law and basic norms governing international relations,” the office said in a statement.
“This is another example of American bullying and American double standards. The US move goes against the historical trend, and all its pressure and sanctions are nothing but a piece of waste paper," the statement added.
The office said Hong Kong belongs to China and its affairs are purely China's internal affairs, adding that Hong Kong's prosperity and stability must not be undermined.
“We urge the US side to cease and desist, immediately stop its political plot to disrupt Hong Kong and China as a whole, stop its bullying act of arbitrary sanctions, and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs at large in any form,” the statement underlined.
The Friday’s statement also said that under the NSL, the public order of Hong Kong had been restored, the rule of law principle upheld and its development back on track.
“Hong Kong residents enjoy lawful rights and freedoms, and foreign investors in Hong Kong have a more secure, stable and predictable business environment,” it noted. “Lawful rights and interests of international stakeholders, including US enterprises stationed in Hong Kong, are better protected.”
The statement reiterated Beijing’s condemnation of the so-called US business advisory on the semi-autonomous Chinese territory and said China would certainly fight back in response to the US arbitrary move.
“The Communist Party of China is celebrating its centenary and the time in which the Chinese nation could be bullied, opposed or subjugated by foreign forces was gone forever. Anyone who would attempt to do so will find themselves on a collision course with a great wall of steel forged by over 1.4 billion Chinese people,” it added.
"Worrying the Hong Kong's business environment is just an excuse of the US; its true intention is to undermine Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, endanger China's national security, and contain China's development," the statement noted. "The US plot is despicable and contemptible, and it will never succeed."
In June 2019, unprecedented anti-government protests began in Hong Kong over a proposed extradition bill. It was shelved under pressure from demonstrations later on, but the turbulent protest movement continued into the next several months and became more violent, endangering the lives and property of citizens.
The protesters have been demanding Hong Kong’s secession since then. They have received encouragement from the United States.
The Chinese government says the United States and Britain have been fanning the flames of the unrest in Hong Kong by supporting the protesters.
Hong Kong has been governed under the “one-country, two-system” model since the city — a former British colony — was returned to China in 1997.