China said it “strongly opposes” new US laws on Taiwan and Tibet, as well as pressure from Washington to release Hong Kong activists charged with illegal border crossing.
“China urges the US to earnestly follow international law and the basic norms of international relations, and to immediately stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs through the issue of Hong Kong,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told reporters at a press briefing on Monday.
The American embassy in China earlier called for the “immediate release” of 12 Hong Kong activists who were detained by the coast guard in Chinese waters while attempting to escape on a speed boat to Taiwan. Ten people from the group were charged with illegal border crossing.
“Their so-called ‘crime’ was to flee tyranny. Communist China will stop at nothing to prevent its people from seeking freedom elsewhere,” the US officials said.
Zhao denounced the statement as an attempt to meddle in Beijing’s “judicial sovereignty.”
“China is a nation under the rule of law, where laws must be followed and violations must be investigated,” the diplomat said. He added that China “strongly opposes” the bills on Taiwan and Tibet which were signed into law by US President Donald Trump on Sunday.
Zhao said the US must not implement provisions of the bills that “target China and cause harm to China’s interests” in order not to undermine the “stability in the Taiwan Strait.”
The Taiwan Assurance Act of 2020 is aimed at providing political support for Taiwan in the UN and its various international agencies. The legislation came after the US State Department approved the sale of fighter jets and anti-ship missiles to Taipei.
The Tibetan Policy and Support Act, meanwhile, allows to sanction Chinese officials for interfering in the selection of the next Dalai Lama, and says that Beijing cannot open new consulates in the US until Washington is permitted to set up a diplomatic outpost in Tibet’s capital Lhasa.
US-China relations have deteriorated significantly during the Trump administration due to a trade war and Washington’s open support for protests in Hong Kong. The countries have repeatedly accused each other of military provocations in the South China Sea.