China has responded furiously to President Donald Trump's signing of two bills supporting human rights in Hong Kong, even summoning the U.S. ambassador to protest the move.
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng reportedly told U.S. Ambassador Terry Branstad that the signing amounts to "serious interference in China's internal affairs and a serious violation of international law." Le reportedly urged the U.S. not to implement the bills or risk further damaging U.S.-China relations.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Beijing released its own statement about the diplomats' meeting, saying, "The Chinese Communist Party must honor its promises to the Hong Kong people." It said 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."
China is upset over two bills that became U.S. law on Wednesday. The measures would impose sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who take part in human rights abuses in Hong Kong; require an annual review of Hong Kong's trade status; and ban the export of certain nonlethal weapons to Hong Kong police. Beijing had previously urged the president not to sign the bills under threat of damaging precarious trade negotiations between the two countries.
A spokesman for China's Foreign Ministry later said at a news conference: "This so-called act will only make the broad Chinese people, including their compatriots in Hong Kong, more aware of the sinister intentions and hegemonic nature of the U.S. ... The plot of the U.S. side is doomed to failure."