China suspended visits of US warships and sanctioned several US non-governmental organizations in retaliation for the passage of a bill that supports demonstrators for democracy in Hong Kong.
"In response to the unreasonable behavior of the US side, the Chinese government decided to suspend the review of requests for US warships to go to Hong Kong to (rest and) recover from today," said the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Relations Outdoors, Hua Chunying, in a newspaper. press conference on Monday.
"We urge the United States to correct errors and stop interfering in our internal affairs. China will take additional measures if necessary to maintain the stability and prosperity of Hong Kong and China's sovereignty," he said.
Last week, the president of the United States, Donald Trumps, signed the Law of Human Rights and Democracy of Hong Kong, which requires the president to annually review the favorable commercial status of the city and threatens to revoke it if the freedoms of the semi-autonomous territory.
The move came when the two largest economies in the world have struggled to finalize a "phase one,quot; agreement in their protracted trade war.
China had already denied the requests of two US Navy ships to dock in Hong Kong in August, without specifying a reason.
The last ship of the US Navy that visited Hong Kong was the USS Blue Ridge in April, before mass protests broke out in June.
In more normal times, several American naval ships visit Hong Kong annually, a tradition of rest and recreation that goes back to the colonial era before 1997 that Beijing allowed to continue after the transfer of British rule to Chinese.
Hua said they would also apply sanctions to several NGOs based in the United States, but did not give details on how they would take the measures.
The sanctions will apply to NGOs that had acted "badly,quot; for recent riots in Hong Kong, he said, including the National Foundation for Democracy, Human Rights Watch and Freedom House.
Foreign NGOs are already heavily restricted in China, and have previously received strong criticisms for reporting rights issues in the country, including mass detention of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.
"They assume some responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong and should be sanctioned and pay the price," said Hua.
"From a military point of view, from a military point of view, it really doesn't make a difference for the United States, since they can use many naval bases in the region," Michael Raska, a security researcher at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore. .
However, "it sends a signal that tensions between the United States and China will continue to deepen," Raska said.