US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a bill in support of the pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong, despite stern warnings by China that it would retaliate with "countermeasures" if the legislation became law, as it meddles with Beijing's domestic affairs.
"We have to take action, to do something, both diplomatically, and add pressure, and I think eventually trade will have to follow", United Kingdom member of the European Parliament Sheila Ritchie said.
Police in Hong Kong (southern China) removed the security cordon surrounding the Polytechnic University on Friday after finding 6,500 lethal devices made by demonstrators who occupied the site for almost two weeks. "They are being enacted in the hope that Leaders and Representatives of China and Hong Kong will be able to amicably settle their differences leading to long term peace and prosperity for all", Trump said in a statement.
"We are officially telling the USA and the handful of opposition politicians in Hong Kong who follow America's lead to not underestimate our determination to protect Hong Kong's prosperity and stability, don't underestimate our belief to protect the "one country, two systems policy" and don't underestimate our capabilities and strategies in protecting our country's sovereignty, safety, growth and rights", the office said, according to a CNBC translation of an online-Chinese language statement.
During an official visit to Thailand, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (林鄭月娥) said that Hong Kong is undergoing a hard period, but that the fundamentals of the territory, including its strengths under the "one country, two systems" framework, remain strong.More news: Barcelona Stars Shine In Win Over Dortmund
On Wednesday, Trump signed the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act into law.According to the bill, the State Department would be required to certify once a year that Hong Kong is sufficiently autonomous to retain its special USA trading consideration.
But it is unclear whether Beijing will actually move forward with substantive retaliation.
Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, the top government spokesman, said at a press conference on Thursday in Tokyo that he does not expect that the US enactment of the Hong Kong human rights law will affect Xi's visit.
Beijing condemned the move and said it would take "firm counter measures".
The crisis in Hong Kong worsened with a more violent turn that forced schools and commercial establishments to close for several days, paralyzed transport and left one person dead.More news: James Wiseman Officially Suspended As NCAA Rejects Appeal
Waving British flags, the activists urged Britain to ensure that Hong Kong political dissidents do not suffer the same fate as Simon Cheng, a former British Consulate employee in the city who says he was detained and tortured by Chinese secret police. But he also maintained his final authority on how to implement the law. "The nature of this is extremely abominable, and harbours absolutely sinister intentions", it said.
Mr Trump is now seeking a deal with China, in order to end a trade war between the two countries.
But Beijing lashed out furiously, summoning the United States ambassador, threatening unspecified "firm countermeasures" and warning Washington not to implement the legislation.
Under the "one country, two systems" arrangement, it has more autonomy than the mainland.More news: No more menthol cigarettes: Massachusetts bans flavored tobacco, vape products