US visa bans Chinese authorities over Hong Kong security law



US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington's visa ban was imposed on Chinese Communist Party officials believed to be responsible for reducing independence in Hong Kong.


Mr. Pompeo said the sanctions were aimed at current and former party officials.

President Donald Trump has promised to punish Beijing over a proposed security law that could damage Hong Kong's autonomy.

China said it was a "mistake" to withdraw the US decision.

It comes just days before the Chinese parliament session.

The National People's Congress Standing Committee will discuss the new legislation at its meeting, which is scheduled to begin on Sunday.

China has proposed a security law that would shorten Beijing's authority in Hong Kong, and China could be seen setting up its security agencies in the region for the first time.

The move created a new wave of anti-Mainland protests in Hong Kong.

Pompeo's announcement on Friday of anonymity by Chinese officials affected by US visa restrictions came after the US Senate recently voted against those who are against Hong Kong's autonomy and the banks with them.

Responding to the move, the Chinese embassy in Washington said it was "strongly opposed to wrong decisions on the part of the US".

In a statement posted on Twitter, the embassy said: "We urge the American side to immediately rectify its mistakes, withdraw the decision and intervene in Chinese domestic affairs."

Last month, Trump said he would begin ending preferential treatment for Hong Kong in trade and travel in response to China's plans.

The US president said that Beijing is changing the principle of "one country, two systems with one country, one system."

"It's a tragedy for Hong Kong ... China has violated Hong Kong's independence," he said.

China's parliament has already supported the proposal of the new law, which is now under the leadership of the country's senior leadership.

Hong Kong has always been ready for security legislation, but it has never been more popular.

China is now taking steps to ensure that it has a legal framework, which it sees as serious challenges to counter its authority.

The law criminalizes:

Loneliness - Separated from China
Demolition - By reducing the power or authority of the central government
Terrorism - Using violence or threats against people
Action by foreign forces in Hong Kong
Experts say they fear the law will punish those who criticize Beijing - as in mainland China.

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