China's Foreign Ministry said Monday that it had suspended all US warships and military aircraft from visiting Hong Kong, and also declared sanctions against several US non-government organizations (NGOs) for their support of pro-democracy protesters, reported Bloomberg.
"In response to the unreasonable behaviors of the US side, the Chinese government decides to suspend the review of requests by US military ships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong as of today," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
Beijing has suspended requests by US military ships and aircraft to visit #HongKong. MOFA Spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that a number of US-based non-governmental organizations, including NED, will be subjected to sanctions from China, in today's press briefing. pic.twitter.com/LvknrixIrD— China Daily (@ChinaDaily) December 2, 2019
China last week announced that it would make firm countermeasures to President Trump's signed Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act that went into law.
The new law permits Washington to impose new sanctions or revoke Hong Kong's special trading status over China's human rights violations.
The Foreign Ministry's response to the signing of the bill last week accused Washington of "bullying behavior," "disregarding the facts," and "publicly supporting violent criminals."
Chunying said that "we urge the US to correct the mistakes and stop interfering in our internal affairs. China will take further steps if necessary to uphold Hong Kong's stability and prosperity and China's sovereignty."
About a year ago, on positive signs that a deal was likely at the 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit, China allowed the USS Ronald Reagan and other ships in its strike group to dock in Hong kong. Now it seems that China will force Hong Kong to deny port calls attempted by the US.
Chunying also said the sanctioned NGOs include the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, Human Rights Watch, and Freedom House.
"They shoulder some responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong, and they should be sanctioned and pay the price," said added.
China's yuan weakened to 7.04 per dollar, the lowest level in at least a week, following the statement from the Foreign Ministry on Monday morning.
China Central Television reported that Beijing could take further actions on the US if there's more interference.
Global Times editor noted that Beijing would come up with additional sanctions against the US if the Trump administration continues to interfere in Hong Kong.
These measures will have actual impact on related organizations and departments of the US side. It shows China will not allow the US to wantonly make waves on Hong Kong issue. If the US side continues to provoke over Hong Kong, China will come up with follow-up action. pic.twitter.com/e8H946fVL9— Hu Xijin 胡锡进 (@HuXijin_GT) December 2, 2019
And as we noted last week, China spares trade in the first and second retaliations to the Hong Kong bill. Though that might not be the case in upcoming retaliations as the trade war is likely to deepen.