China has warned the United States to "stop meddling" in its domestic affairs, after the House of Representatives passed legislation supporting pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.
Beijing's foreign ministry on Wednesday released a statement that expressed "strong indignation" over the passing of the so-called "Hong Kong human rights act."
Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, in the statement, called on the U.S. to immediately scrap the subsequent review of the act, and warned that if it's put into effect, bilateral ties would be severely harmed.
He warned China would take "forceful countermeasures" against the move.
U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday had shown rare bipartisan support in passing bills to defend the civil rights of protestors in Hong Kong.
One bill would end Hong Kong's special trading status with the U.S., that sets it apart from mainland China, unless the U.S. State Department annually verifies that Hong Kong authorities are upholding human rights and the rule of law.
A second bill proposes banning exports of items that could be used for military or crowd-control purposes, such as teargas and rubber bullets.
Another bill is a resolution that recognizes Hong Kong's separate relationship with Washington, and condemns China's "interference" in the semi-autonomous city.
Since June this year, Hong Kong has seen massive rallies, first against an extradition bill that would have allowed people to be sent to mainland China for trial, then turning into a wider movement for democracy.
"For years, the people of Hong Kong have faced a barrage of unjust and harsh restrictions on their freedoms, and those who have stood up for their rights have been met with a cruel crackdown. In Congress, Democrats and Republicans in the House and in the Senate stand united with the people of Hong Kong. If America does not speak up for human rights in China because of commercial interests then we lose all moral authority to speak out for human rights any place in the world."
For the three bills to come into effect, the Senate has to vote on the legislation, before the measures are delivered to the White House to be signed into law or vetoed by President Trump.
Oh Soo-young, Arirang News.