China puts reciprocal sanctions on US officials, revokes visa exemption treatment for U.S. diplomat passport holders visiting Hong Kong, Macau
China announced on Thursday it would revoke visa exemption treatment for U.S. diplomatic passport holders paying temporary visits to Hong Kong and Macau after the United States imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on more than a dozen Chinese officials.
Chinese Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing in Beijing that China has decided to impose reciprocal sanctions against some U.S. officials, members of Congress, personnel at non-governmental organisations, and their family members, over their egregious behavior in HongKong. China urges the United States not to go further down this “dangerous and wrong path”, she added. She declined to give any names of those sanctioned or to say when the sanctions would start.
The United States on Monday imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 vice chairpersons of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), the top decision-making body of the Chinese legislature, over their role in Beijing’s disqualification last month of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong. In August the Trump administration slapped sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and other top officials over their alleged role in curtailing freedoms and crackdown on the territory’s pro-democracy movement.
China’s administrative region of Hong Kong has seen several waves of civil protests since 2019. Latest was in opposition to National security Law imposed in the beginning of July this year, expanding the powers of the central authorities throughout the territorial unit. Both central and local governments have since argued that the law seeks to ensure security in the region and is in no violation of residents’ rights.