China angrily lashed out at the USA on Monday over its continued support of basic human rights and democracy in Hong Kong.
"In response to the unreasonable behaviour of the United States side, the Chinese government has made a decision to suspend reviewing the applications for U.S. warships to go to Hong Kong for [rest and] recuperation as of today", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular news briefing on Monday.
The spokesperson said the government will firmly respond to U.S. interference in China's internal affairs, and take further necessary steps.
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 US would bear the costs for backing democracy over one-party Communist rule.
Hua said they would also apply sanctions to a number of US-based NGOs, although failed to give any specifics over the form the measures would take.
However, it "sends a signal that US-China tensions will continue to deepen", Raska said.
In an opinion piece published Saturday in Hong Kong's South China Morning Post newspaper, Ms Bachelet called for an "independent and impartial judge-led investigation into reports of excessive use of force by the police".
China had already denied requests for two U.S. Navy ships to dock in Hong Kong in August, without specifying a reason why. The US could revoke the special trading status it has granted the territory if China undermines the city's rights and freedoms.
Derek Mitchell, the president of the National Democratic Institute, said in Hong Kong last week that accusations it was colluding with protesters were "patently false".
Among other things, Hong Kong's special status means it is not affected by U.S. sanctions or tariffs placed on the mainland.
The Foreign Ministry in August distributed a lengthy report that named the N.E.D.as a USA intelligence front and listed its history of funding political groups in Hong Kong going back 20 years.
While China has in the past suspended visits by US military ships and aircraft, sanctioning NGOs, especially those with connections to the USA government, would bring conditions for civil society in Hong Kong significantly closer to those in mainland China.
During the months of turmoil, police and protesters have been engaging in increasingly violent clashes.
Hong Kong's protests have been relatively peaceful during the two weeks around the November 24 elections, but Sunday's disruption indicated there may be more violence if Lam fails to yield to protesters' demands.
The bill was eventually withdrawn but unrest evolved into a broader protest against the police and the way Hong Kong is administered by Beijing.
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