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China suspended US warship visits and sanctioned American NGOs on Monday in retaliation for the passage of a bill backing pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
The financial hub has been rocked by nearly six months of increasingly violent unrest demanding greater autonomy, which Beijing has frequently blamed on foreign influence.
Last week US President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which requires the president to annually review the citys favourable trade status and threatens to revoke it if the semi-autonomous territorys freedoms are quashed.
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
The move came as the worlds two biggest economies have been striving to finalise a “phase one” deal in their protracted trade war.
“In response to the unreasonable behaviour of the US 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,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing.
China had already denied requests for two US Navy ships to dock in Hong Kong in August, without specifying a reason why.
Hua said they would also apply sanctions to a number of US-based NGOs, although failed to give any specifics over the form sanctions would take.
Sanctions will apply to NGOs that had acted “badly” over tRead More – Source