China has suspended visits by US Navy ships and aircraft to Hong Kong after Washington passed legislation last week backing pro-democracy protesters.

Beijing also unveiled sanctions against a number of US human rights groups.

It comes after President Donald Trump signed the Human Rights and Democracy Act into law.

The act orders an annual review to check if Hong Kong has enough autonomy to justify special trading status with the US.

President Trump is currently seeking a deal with China in order to end a trade war.

The foreign ministry said it would suspend the reviewing of applications to visit Hong Kong by US military ships and aircraft from Monday – and warned that further action could come.

“We urge the US to correct the mistakes and stop interfering in our internal affairs,” ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing.

“China will take further steps if necessary to uphold Hong Kong’s stability and prosperity and China’s sovereignty.”

Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) targeted by sanctions include Human Rights Watch, Freedom House, the National Endowment for Democracy, the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the International Republican Institute.

“They shoulder some responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong and they should be sanctioned and pay the price,” Ms Hua said, without specifying what form the measures would take.

Source:bbc.com

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