China suspends US Navy visits to Hong Kong over support for protests

Hong Kong pro-democracy rally cut short by police tear gas

China is also taking other steps to retaliate against what it sees as US support for Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement.

China's Foreign Ministry said on Monday (Dec 2) that it has suspended the review of requests by United States military ships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong, in response to legislation passed by USA lawmakers in support of protesters in the China-ruled territory.

Hua said they would also apply sanctions to a number of US-based NGOs, although she failed to give any specifics over the form the measures would take.

The spokesperson said the government will firmly respond to United States interference in China's internal affairs, and take further necessary steps.

On Saturday, Hong Kong's chief secretary said officials will not investigate police brutality, but they will develop a commission to restore the region's peace and order.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying repeated Chinese accusations Monday the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act "seriously interfered" in Hong Kong's internal affairs, and appeared to back up China's threats the USA would bear the costs for backing democracy over one-party Communist rule.

Tear gas was sacked Sunday as police tried to disperse protests in Hong Kong's Tsim Sha Tsui when a group of radical protesters started hurling bricks at officers during a public protest.

"Operationally, from a military point of view, it doesn't really make a difference for the U.S., as they can use many naval bases in the region", Michael Raska, a security researcher at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University, told AFP.

However, it sends a signal that US-China tensions will continue to deepen, he told AFP news agency.

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China had already denied requests for two U.S. Navy ships to dock in Hong Kong in August, without specifying a reason why.

Hong Kong - a British colony until 1997 - is part of China under a model known as "one country, two systems".

Some of the young protesters waved American flags, a sign of appreciation after President Donald Trump this week signed into law bills that back the protesters and threaten China with possible sanctions on human rights.

Although China continues to push the narrative it alone has the solution to Hong Kong's manifest social problems, local residents are looking elsewhere for answers because they resoundingly reject Chinese identity.

A man clearing barricades in Hong Kong was hit in the head with a street drain cover over the weekend, marking a violent return to anti-Government demonstrations across the Asian financial hub.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said she'll accelerate dialogue but hasn't offered any concessions since the elections.

Under this model, Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy and people have freedoms not seen in mainland China.

This came days after President Trump signed several new bills into law, which will support protesters' months-long demonstrations.

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