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China may impose visa restrictions on US individuals with ‘egregious conduct’ on Hong Kong-related issues

China may impose visa restrictions on US individuals with ‘egregious conduct’ on Hong Kong-related issues

Beijing said on Monday it will impose visa restrictions on US individuals over Hong Kong, mirroring Washington’s sanctions against unnamed Chinese officials deemed responsible for curbing freedoms in the city.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian announced the new sanctions, but did not specify which US individuals have been targeted, Reuters said. The top decision-making body of China’s parliament is deliberating a draft national security law for Hong Kong.

“The US is attempting to obstruct China’s legislation for safeguarding national security in the [Hong Kong Special Administrative Region] by imposing the so-called sanctions, but it will never succeed,” he told reporters. “In response… China has decided to impose visa restrictions on US individuals with egregious conduct on HK related issues.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said last week that the new visa restrictions by Washington apply to “current and former” officials of China’s ruling Communist Party “believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.”