The Chinese government on Thursday urged the United States Congress and politicians to immediately stop pushing ahead with the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, saying the move would hurt US-China relations.

Hong Kong belongs to China and its issues are entirely China’s internal affairs, which should not be intervened in by any foreign government, power, organization and individual, said Geng Shuang, a spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry.

China strongly urged members of the US Congress to see clearly the situation and stop examining the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act and intervening in Hong Kong’s issues and China’s internal affairs, he said.

Geng said the House and Senate committees of the US Congress had ignored the disgraceful behavior of Hong Kong’s violent extremists, the demands of the city’s people and the basic rules of international relations.

He said the fact that the two committees had publicly supported these violent extremists exposed the malicious intention of some in the US Congress who wanted to disrupt Hong Kong to contain China’s development.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang. Photo: Xinhua

Geng said Hong Kong had protected the interests of 80,000 citizens, 1,300 companies and a large amount of investments from the US. He said the passing of the Act by the two committees would fuel the extremists’ arrogant attitudes and make Hong Kong even more chaotic.

“It will harm not only China’s interests, but also the US’ interests,” Geng said. “China will hit back forcefully at any US action that aims to hurt China’s interests.”

On Wednesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which was written to support democratic freedoms in Hong Kong. The bill will be scheduled for votes in both chambers in mid-October.

The legislation is intended to act as an amendment to the US-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992, which kept US business and other ties to the city intact after its 1997 handover from Britain to China. It would require the US President to report to Congress and impose sanctions on the individuals responsible for “abducting and torturing” human rights activists.

Some protesters have held American flags and urged the US Congress to reintroduce the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. Photo: Asia Times

The bill had been proposed in the US Congress in 2015 and 2017, but failed to get enough attention from Congress until anti-extradition protests broke out in Hong Kong over the past few months.

On September 8, tens of thousands of Hong Kong people rallied in front of the US Consulate General of Hong Kong and Macau with representatives submitting a letter urging the passing of the bill in the US Congress.

Earlier this month, some US congressional representatives called for a ban on sales of riot control equipment, including tear gas canisters, defense articles and services, to Hong Kong law enforcement departments.

Meanwhile, Joshua Wong Chi-fung, the secretary-general of pro-democracy party Demosistō, and Denise Ho Wan-sze, a Hong Kong pop singer, testified at a US congressional hearing on the Hong Kong protests and urged the US to stand with the people of Hong Kong who were at the front lines of a global battle against China’s totalitarianism.

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A small group of anti-China forces had begged for foreign powers’ interventions on Hong Kong’s issues, betraying China and Hong Kong’s benefits, according to a statement of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO). These betrayers will be cast aside by the people who love Hong Kong and China and be pinned on the pillar of shame in the history.

HKMAO said the passing of the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act was aimed at cheering up the anti-China forces and a few rioters and fueling the chaotic situation in Hong Kong. It said it strongly condemned the House and Senate committees for passing the bill, which will seriously hurt the US-China relations. It added that US will not benefit from it at all.

The HKMAO statement also reiterated that Hong Kong had been exercising the one country two systems principle, Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong and a high degree of autonomy in strict accordance with the Basic Law.

A Xinhua commentary criticized the behavior of some US politicians for having double standards in human right issues. It said the US had poor records in matters such as racism and gun violence but at the same time beautified the street violence in Hong Kong as a human right campaign and defiled Hong Kong police for using excessive force.

Xinhua said the US did not truly care about the benefit of Hong Kong police but had an ulterior motive. It said the US played the “Hong Kong card” in the way it played the “Taiwan card” in the past.

Hong Kong people enjoyed the unprecedented democratic rights and freedoms while China’s Hong Kong did not need any hypocritical “savior,” Xinhua said.

Read: HK protesters call on US to pass Human Rights Act