China strikes back at U.S. threat of sanctions on int’l financial institutions over Hong Kong

Chinese, left, and Hong Kong flags are displayed outside the Central Government Offices in Hong Kong, China, Saturday, Oct. 4, 2014. A week into demonstrations in Hong Kong notable for their order and endurance, protesters came under attack from opponents, highlighting the fault lines of a city torn between commercial interests and a desire for greater democracy. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg via Getty Images

BEIJING, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) — China on Thursday expressed firm opposition to and denunciation of the U.S. side creating the so-called “Hong Kong Autonomy Act,” and sanctioning Chinese personnel based on it, vowing countermeasures “if the U.S. is bent on going this way.”

That came after the U.S. State Department’s recent warning about tough sanctions soon to be put on international financial institutions doing business with Chinese individuals deemed responsible for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.

In responding to a query about China’s comments on the topic at a regular press conference Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that China is firmly opposed to and strongly condemns the so-called “Hong Kong Autonomy Act” made by the U.S. and sanctions put on Chinese individuals based on it. “We have lodged stern representation with the U.S. side.”

Zhao said Hong Kong is China’s Hong Kong, and Hong Kong affairs are China’s internal affairs. No foreign country has the right to make irresponsible remarks or interfere in Hong Kong’s affairs.

The U.S. has grossly violated international law and basic norms governing international relations, interfered in China’s internal affairs, and further exposed its sinister motive to undermine Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability and contain China’s development.

The spokesperson urged the U.S. side to correct its mistakes and stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and China’s other internal affairs in any form.

“If the U.S. is bent on going this way, China will take resolute countermeasures to safeguard national sovereignty and security interests and the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies and the relevant personnel,” Zhao added.