China summoned a senior US diplomat to lodge a formal complaint about US comments on Hong Kong, after proposed US legislation that would require the government to justify the continuation of special treatment for the territory.

Iran Press/Asia: The legislation would reportedly require the US Secretary of State to issue an annual certification of Hong Kong's autonomy to justify special treatment under the US Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.

In addition to this, the law would also reportedly require the US President to identify those responsible for the abduction of booksellers and other individuals from Hong Kong and subject them to US sanctions, Reuters reported. 

The proposed legislation comes amid Hong Kong's worsening political crisis, where widespread protests have broken out against a proposed law that would allow extraditions to mainland China.

The bipartisan Senate legislation, sponsored by several senior senators, would require the US secretary of state to issue an annual certification of Hong Kong’s autonomy to justify special treatment under the US Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister summoned Robert Forden, the US Deputy Chief of Mission in Beijing, to lodge stern representations over recent US comments and actions on Hong Kong and the extradition law and urged Washington to stop interfering in the city’s affairs immediately.

Le urged Washington not to not take any actions that harm Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability, the ministry said in a statement.

“We urge the US side to treat the Hong Kong government objectively and fairly and respect its normal legislative process,” the statement cited Le as saying.

“China will watch the US side’s actions and further respond,” he added, without elaborating.

Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997 under a “one country, two systems” deal guaranteeing it special autonomy, including freedom of assembly, free press and independent judiciary.

Earlier on Friday, the foreign ministry expressed “extreme dissatisfaction” with the proposed US bill, calling it “irresponsible carping and crude interference”.

China called on the United States “to give up its delusions of creating chaos in Hong Kong, stop pushing the proposed bill and to stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs,” spokesman Geng Shuang told a regular media briefing.

In addition, the legislation would make clear that Hong Kong citizens should not be denied visas to the United States if they were arrested or detained in connection with protest activity there. 101/213

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