The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounces the "heavy interference" and threatens "consequences". Trump also signed a law prohibiting the sale of ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets to the Hong Kong police. Trump hopes that China and Hong Kong will "settle" differences in a friendly way. So far, the police have arrested about 5,000 protesters. Including teenagers aged 12-16.
Hong Kong (AsiaNews) - The Chinese government has strongly criticized Donald Trump's decision to sign the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, judging it "heavy interference" in China's internal affairs and has threatened "consequences".
Today, a few hours after the signing of the law, already approved by the House of Representatives and the Congress, the Chinese Foreign Ministry denounced Trump's signature as a "blatant hegemonic move". Immediately afterwards, the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office accused the US of "arrogance" and being "the black hand" behind the protests of the anti-extradition movement.
Even the Hong Kong government has declared that the signing of the law will send "a wrong signal" of support for the demonstrators.
The " Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act" provides for sanctions against government figures in Hong Kong and China that harm human rights and the freedom of the territory. Furthermore, it requests the Secretariat of State to verify the autonomy and the rule of law present in Hong Kong. In the event that the territory is now managed like China, invalidating the principle "One country, two systems", it would lose the special trade conditions it currently enjoys with the US.
The law was loudly demanded in the anti-extradition demonstrations in these 6 months and has always received a rain of criticism from Beijing.
In a veiled attack against Hong Kong police, Trump also voted a law that prohibits the United States from selling ammunition, tear gas and rubber bullets "made in USA" to local law enforcement agencies.
For his part, Trump said he signed the Hong Kong laws in "full respect for President Xi, China and the people of Hong Kong". He also said that he hopes "China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably smooth out their differences, leading to undying peace and prosperity for all."
Meanwhile, in the territory the situation remains tense, but more peaceful than in the past. The police entered the Polytechnic this morning in search of the remaining demonstrators who had occupied the university and who had been besieged by the police for almost a week. Yesterday a group of psychologists and emergency medical personnel had visited the site, but found no youth.
In Central and in other areas marches of the "Lunch con me" that block the roads still occur; the tunnel linking the island of Hong Kong to the Kowloon peninsula was reopened yesterday.
Activist Joshua Wong, who appreciated Trump's signing of the Hong Kong law, said that over the past few months the police have arrested about 5,000 protesters. Among these there are also teenagers aged 12-16.