China slams US over Hong Kong 'safe haven' offer
Beijing, Aug 06: Beijing attacked the US for offering temporary refuge to Hong Kong citizens on Friday, saying it was "weaving lies."
A statement by the Chinese foreign ministry said the move "slandered and smeared Hong Kong's national security law, nakedly intervened in Hong Kong affairs and China's internal affairs, and blatantly trampled on international law and the basic norms of international relations."
It also went on to call the offer "shameless political manipulation," and that was "doomed to failure."
Despite Beijing's outrage, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US stands :with the people of Hong Kong and will continue to stand up for the human rights and freedoms they are guaranteed."
US support for Hong Kong
The reaction came hours after US President Joe Biden had signed a memorandum allowing people from Hong Kong currently residing in the US to live and work in the country for 18 months.
"Over the last year, the PRC has continued its assault on Hong Kong's autonomy, undermining its remaining democratic processes and institutions, imposing limits on academic freedom, and cracking down on freedom of the press," said Biden's memo.
Biden's move came as a response to China's increasing control over Hong Kong, and its efforts to crush the pro-democracy movement.
Under the new rules, the Department of Homeland Security has received instructions to implement a "deferral of removal" of up to 18 months for Hong Kong citizens who are currently residing in the US. Biden said the US will continue their support for the people of Hong Kong, adding that the move protects US interests in the region.
China signed the controversial national security law after months of pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong in 2019. Critics say the law undermines the autonomy of Hong Kong. Since then, there has been a crackdown on dissent and freedom of press, and many leaders of the movement have been arrested.