Hong Kong leader condemns USA law and promises economic relief

A pro-democracy supporter waves a flag during a rally by the advertising industry in Hong Kong on Monday

A pro-democracy supporter waves a flag during a rally by the advertising industry in Hong Kong on Monday

Hundreds of office workers gathered in Hong Kong's business district on Monday in support of the pro-democracy movement after it scored a resounding victory in district polls last month.

World leaders have begun a two-week climate conference in Madrid.

"We have a high degree of freedom in many aspects", she said ahead of the weekly Executive Council meeting, as she mistakenly referred the law as the Hong Kong Human Rights and Freedom Act.

"The impact now is on confidence. because corporates will be anxious about the actions the USA government may take in the future after they review this legislation", Lam said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking to students in Kentucky, said that Hong Kong demonstrators want "what our next generation of Americans wants - they want freedom, the chance to raise a family, to practice their faith in the way that they want".

"Our efforts are to make sure that those weren't empty promises that were made to the people of Hong Kong", Pompeo stated.

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

However, it "sends a signal that US-China tensions will continue to deepen", Mr Raska said.

The USS Blue Ridge, flagship of the USA navy's Seventh Fleet, at Changi Naval Base in Singapore, on May 9.

The USS Blue Ridge, the command ship of the Japan-based Seventh Fleet, stopped in Hong Kong in April - the last ship to visit before mass protests broke out in June.

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J. Michael Cole, a Taipei-based senior fellow with the Global Taiwan Institute, said the move was "mostly symbolic" but yet another sign of the "tit-for-tat escalation which is poisoning the bilateral relationship".

Lam stood by Hua's comments, saying that USA port visits are an issue of foreign affairs and need the ministry's approval.

"The measures announced on Monday are only the lightest", it said.

Along with suspending visits by official USA military ships and aircraft, Hua said China would sanction organizations including the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, Human Rights Watch and others that she said had "performed badly" in the Hong Kong unrest.

"False accusations of foreign interference" against the U.S. NGOs "are meant to distract from the legitimate concerns of Hong Kongers", the official said.

"They shoulder some responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong and they should be sanctioned and pay the price", Hua said.

Since the foreign ministry was no longer allowing it, Lam said her government wouldn't be cooperating with the United States in this matter either. It also threatens sanctions for human rights violations.

Hong Kong has been rocked by six months of sometimes violent unrest in the biggest challenge to Chinese stability since the pro-democracy protesters in and around Beijing's Tiananmen Square in 1989.

The increasingly violent rallies have hammered the retail and tourism sectors, with mainland Chinese visitors abandoning the city in droves.

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.

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