China angrily lashed out at the U.S. on Monday over its continued support of basic human rights and democracy in Hong Kong.
The Communists in Beijing announced they will suspend U.S. Navy visits to the disputed territory and sanction a range of pro-democracy, non-governmental organizations in retaliation for Congress’ passage of legislation supporting anti-government protests.
China had already denied requests for two U.S. Navy ships to dock in Hong Kong in August, without specifying a reason why.
Protesters gather at Central’s Chater Garden at 12:30pm on Sunday to thank the US for passing and signing the #HongKong Human Rights and Democracy Act.
Photo: RTHK screenshot. pic.twitter.com/4RD65odDzc
— Hong Kong Free Press (@HongKongFP) December 1, 2019
Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying repeated Chinese accusations Monday the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act “seriously interfered” in Hong Kong’s internal affairs, and appeared to back up China’s threats the U.S. would bear the costs for backing democracy over one-party Communist rule.
“In response to the unreasonable behaviour of the U.S. side, the Chinese government has decided to suspend reviewing the applications for US warships to go to Hong Kong for (rest and) recuperation as of today,” Hua said.
She spoke after a weekend of largely peaceful marches in the former British colony that all hailed U.S. efforts to isolate China over its violent response to freedom demonstrations.
The March of Gratitude rally on Sunday openly thanked U.S. lawmakers for backing their fight against Beijing rule and their desire to live in freedom not tyranny, as Breitbart News reported.
Thanks to #usa rally in #HongKong pic.twitter.com/FUs0n50BG0
— Paul Greaney (@PaulGreaney_) December 1, 2019
Some protesters held banners reading “President Trump, please liberate Hong Kong” and “Let’s make Hong Kong great again” — a riff on his 2016 campaign pledge to make America great again. One showed the president standing atop a tank with “Trump” emblazoned on the front and side.
Now China’s Communists have hit back.
Along with suspending visits by official U.S. military ships and aircraft, Hua said China would sanction organizations including the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Human Rights Watch, the International Republican Institute, Freedom House, and others that she said had “performed badly” in the Hong Kong unrest.
“China urges the United States to correct its mistakes and stop any words and deeds that interfere in Hong Kong and China’s internal affairs,” Hua said at a daily news briefing in Beijing, adding China could take “further necessary actions” depending on how matters progress.
Although China continues to push the narrative it alone has the solution to Hong Kong’s manifest social problems, local residents are looking elsewhere for answers because they resoundingly reject Chinese identity.
According to a poll released in June by the University of Hong Kong, barely one percent of people in Hong Kong identified as “Chinese;” 90 percent of people aged 18-29 said were not proud of being Chinese citizens.
AP contributed to this report