sunny.png
Friday February 21st, 2020 11:37AM

China furious, Hong Kong celebrates after US move on bills

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

BEIJING (AP) — China reacted furiously Thursday to President Donald Trump’s signing two bills aimed at supporting human rights in Hong Kong, summoning the U.S. ambassador to protest and warning the move would undermine cooperation with Washington.

Hong Kong, a former British colony that was granted semi-autonomy when China took control in 1997, has been rocked by six months of sometimes violent pro-democracy demonstrations.

Thousands of pro-democracy activists crowded a public square in downtown Hong Kong on Thursday night for a “Thanksgiving Day” rally to thank the United States for passing the laws and vowed to “march on” in their fight.

Trump’s approval of the bills was not unexpected. Neither was the reaction from Beijing, given China’s adamant rejections of any commentary on what it considers an internal issue.

Nevertheless, the clash comes at a sensitive time and could upset already thorny trade negotiations between the two nations.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng told U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad that the move constituted “serious interference in China’s internal affairs and a serious violation of international law,” a foreign ministry statement said.

Le called it a “nakedly hegemonic act.” He urged the U.S. not to implement the bills to prevent greater damage to U.S.-China relations, the ministry said.

In a statement about the meeting, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing said, “the Chinese Communist Party must honor its promises to the Hong Kong people.”

The U.S. “believes that Hong Kong’s autonomy, its adherence to the rule of law, and its commitment to protecting civil liberties are key to preserving its special status under U.S. law,” it said.

The U.S. laws, which passed both chambers of Congress almost unanimously, mandate sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses in Hong Kong, require an annual review of Hong Kong’s favorable trade status and prohibit the export to Hong Kong police of certain nonlethal munitions.

“I signed these bills out of respect for President Xi, China, and the people of Hong Kong,” Trump said in a statement. “They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all.”

Prominent Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong, who was among those who lobbied for the U.S. laws, said it was remarkable that human rights had triumphed over the U.S.-China trade talks. Wong told Thursday’s rally that the next aim is to expand global support by getting Britain and other Western nations to follow suit.

Since the Hong Kong protests began in June, Beijing has responded to expressions of support for the demonstrators from the U.S. and other countries by accusing them of orchestrating the unrest to contain China’s development. The central government has blamed foreign “black hands” bent on destroying the city.

C.Y. Leung, a former chief executive of Hong Kong, said at a talk at the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong that he doubts the U.S. or supporters of the bills “ever had the interest of Hong Kong in mind.”

He suggested Hong Kong was being used as a “proxy” for China and the legislation was a way to hit back at Beijing.

While China has repeatedly threatened unspecified “countermeasures,” it’s unclear exactly how it will respond. Speaking on Fox News, Trump called the protests a “complicating factor” in trade negotiations with Beijing.

At a daily briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang responded to a question about how Trump’s endorsement of the legislation might affect the trade talks by saying it would undermine “cooperation in important areas.”

Asked Thursday if the U.S. legislation would affect trade talks with Washington, a Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman said he had no new information to share.

Recently both sides expressed confidence they were making headway on a preliminary agreement to avert a further escalation in a tariff war that has hammered manufacturers in both nations.

___

Associated Press writers Eileen Ng in Hong Kong and Elaine Kurtenbach in Beijing contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News, AP Business
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Seoul says North Korea has fired 2 short-range projectiles
South Korea says North Korea has fired two short-range projectiles, likely from a “super-large” multiple rocket launcher, into its eastern waters
10:53AM ( 15 minutes ago )
China furious, Hong Kong celebrates after US move on bills
China has summoned the U.S. ambassador to strongly protest President Donald Trump’s signing of bills on human rights in Hong Kong
10:53AM ( 15 minutes ago )
Snow, winds slow after tangling traffic, threatening parade
Wintry weather temporarily loosened its grip across much of the U.S. just in time for Thanksgiving, after tangling holiday travelers in wind, ice and snow and before more major storms descend Friday
10:38AM ( 30 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
27 Iraqi protesters shot dead in 24 hours, violence spirals
Security and medical officials in Iraq say security forces shot dead 27 anti-government protesters in a 24-hour period amid spiraling violence in the capital and the country’s south
9:41AM ( 1 hour ago )
Activists target conservative legal group over Kavanaugh
A liberal activist group is launching a digital ad campaign targeting the Federalist Society, a conservative legal organization that has championed judges appointed by Trump
9:26AM ( 1 hour ago )
Hong Kong activists call for global support after US laws
Chanting “Stand with Hong Kong,” pro-democracy activists have urged the world to follow U.S. footsteps in supporting human rights in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory
8:58AM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Sticky impeachment trial questions: How long? Who testifies?
How a Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump would unfold is not yet known, but among the issues senators will have to decide are how long it lasts and whether witnesses are called
6:37AM ( 4 hours ago )
Time running out on North Korea’s deadline to US on nukes
Fears rise that North Korean deadline to US means that nearly two years of head-spinning diplomatic engagement might be in danger of falling apart
6:27AM ( 4 hours ago )
Fired Navy Secretary Spencer criticizes Trump in SEAL’s case
Fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer criticizes President Donald Trump for intervening in case of SEAL convicted of posing with corpse of Islamic State extremist in Iraq
5:48AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Fired Navy leader highly critical of Trump in SEAL case
Fired Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has written an opinion article sharply critical of President Donald Trump for intervening in the war crimes case of a Navy SEAL
9:01PM ( 14 hours ago )
Utah hearing for Hawaii suspect in extreme cyberstalking
A man arrested in Hawaii will be sent to Utah, where he’s accused of tormenting a Utah family for over a year by sending more than 500 people to their house for unwanted services
7:54PM ( 15 hours ago )
3 hurt at Texas chemical plant hit by 2 massive explosions
Two massive explosions 13 hours apart tore through a Texas chemical plant, and one left three workers injured
6:36PM ( 16 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
World shares retreat after Trump approves Hong Kong bill
World shares are down after U.S. President Donald Trump signed a bill expressing support for human rights in Hong Kong
8:59AM ( 2 hours ago )
World shares retreat after Trump approval of Hong Kong bill
World shares retreat after Trump approval of Hong Kong bill
3:59AM ( 7 hours ago )
Asian shares retreat after Trump approval of Hong Kong bill
Asian shares retreat after Trump approval of Hong Kong bill
2:07AM ( 9 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Myriad frustrations draw Colombians back onto streets
Colombians unhappy with President Iván Duque’s response to nearly a week of boisterous protests over everything from job losses to shark hunting quotas are taking to the streets again
3:08PM ( 20 hours ago )
Judge denies challenge to Indiana religious objection limits
An Indiana judge has canceled a trial challenging limits on the state’s religious objections law, finding the conservative groups failed to prove they were harmed by changes made shortly after then-Gov. Mike Pence signed it
1:46PM ( 21 hours ago )
Trump was briefed on complaint before Ukraine aid released
President Donald Trump was briefed on the whistleblower complaint about his dealings with Ukraine weeks before the White House released nearly $400 million in military aid to Kiev
12:56PM ( 22 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Holiday stress: Amazon, others under gun for 1-day delivery
Buy something online this holiday season and you’ll set off a 24-hour race to your door
8:47AM ( 2 hours ago )
German court issues split rulings over VW diesel cheating
A German appeals court has ruled in several lawsuits against automaker Volkswagen over software it used to cheat diesel emissions tests, saying consumers who bought the cars unknowingly deserve compensation but those who purchased them later don’t
4:21AM ( 6 hours ago )
China summons US ambassador over Hong Kong bills
China has summoned U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad to “strongly protest” President Donald Trump’s signing of bills on Hong Kong human rights
1:12AM ( 10 hours ago )
AP Business
Seoul says North Korea has fired 2 short-range projectiles
South Korea says North Korea has fired two short-range projectiles, likely from a “super-large” multiple rocket launcher, into its eastern waters
10:53AM ( 19 minutes ago )
Snow, winds slow after tangling traffic, threatening parade
Wintry weather temporarily loosened its grip across much of the U.S. just in time for Thanksgiving, after tangling holiday travelers in wind, ice and snow and before more major storms descend Friday
10:38AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Furious, China summons US ambassador over Hong Kong bills
China has summoned the U.S. ambassador to strongly protest President Donald Trump’s signing of bills on human rights in Hong Kong
10:31AM ( 41 minutes ago )
Macron urges big strategic NATO discussion at London summit
NATO leaders must have a deep discussion about the future of the military alliance and how ties with Russia can be improved, French President Emmanuel Macron said
10:12AM ( 1 hour ago )
Walker scores 39, Celtics beat Nets 121-110
Kemba Walker returned from a neck injury to score a season-high 39 points and Boston beat the Brooklyn Nets 121-110 on a night the fans seemed more interested in taunting former Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving
9:45AM ( 1 hour ago )