An infuriated China on Thursday warned of "firm countermeasures" against the US a day after President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, 2019, aimed at expressing support the pro-democracy demonstrators in the semi-autonomous city.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said that the US should seriously pay heed to Beijing's retaliation if Washington continued to "act arbitrarily."
"The Chinese government and people firmly oppose such stark hegemonic acts. We have made stern representations and strong protests to the US side," the ministry's spokesperson Geng Shuang was quoted by The Hill as saying during a press conference.
He reiterated that the move was "a severe interference in Hong Kong affairs" and "in serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations."
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng summoned US Ambassador to China Terry Branstad over the issue and asked him to ensure that Washington stops meddling in Beijing's internal affairs.
Meanwhile, China is reportedly planning to bar drafters of the bill, including Republican Senator Marco Rubio from entering mainland China as well as Hong Kong and Macau.
On Wednesday, Trump gave his assent to the bill despite stern warnings by China that it would retaliate with "countermeasures".
The bill became a law, a week after the House and Senate passed it with veto-proof majorities, according to US media reports.
The legislation slaps economic sanctions on individuals who commit human rights violations in Hong Kong and bars them from entering the US. It also mandates the State Department to furnish an annual report to lawmakers on whether Hong Kong remains "sufficiently autonomous" from China.
The bill also aims at banning the export of certain munitions to the Hong Kong police.
In Hong Kong, the pro-democracy protestors cheered for Trump and celebrated the passage of the bill at a 'Thanksgiving' rally.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)