China has summoned US ambassador Terry Branstad to “strongly protest” against US president Donald Trump’s signing of bills on human rights in Hong Kong.
Mr Trump signed the bills, which were approved by near unanimous consent in the US house and senate, even as he expressed some concerns about complicating efforts to work out a trade deal with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Chinese vice foreign minister Le Yucheng told Mr Branstad that the move constituted “serious interference in China’s internal affairs and a serious violation of international law”.
Mr Le called it a “nakedly hegemonic act”. He urged the US to not implement the bill in order to prevent greater damage to US-Chinese relations.
China has repeatedly accused America and other Western countries of orchestrating the mass pro-democracy demonstrations that have roiled Hong Kong for six months.
In Hong Kong, police have begun clearing a university that was a flashpoint for clashes with anti-government demonstrators.
The move into the Polytechnic University came after its administration said they believed no-one else remained inside.
Activist Joshua Wong hailed the passing of the US legislation and says he hopes it will spur other western nations to follow suit.