The United States is again on a collision course with China over Hong Kong. Washington imposed sanctions on 14 Chinese officials after opposition members in that Chinese metropolis were expelled from parliament.
Beijing then warned on Tuesday that it would take countermeasures.
The US punitive action was directed against prominent members of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, a significant Chinese governing body. The relationship between Washington and Beijing is, therefore coming under further pressure in the final months of Donald Trump’s presidency.
China has long conflicted with Western countries about Hong Kong. That former British crown colony has been part of China again since 1997.
The metropolis still has its own parliament and legal system. This system is known as “one country, two systems” and must guarantee that the metropolis will have a “high degree of autonomy” until at least 2047.
Critics believe Beijing is tinkering with the agreements made on Hong Kong’s autonomous status. The city’s pro-Chinese government used new powers last month to take away four opposition members from their seats in the so-called Legislative Council, the local parliament. Prodemocratic opposition members then resigned en masse.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement that China is eroding the democratic process in Hong Kong. In Hong Kong’s local parliament, there is no longer any meaningful way to oppose it.