Lam condemns United States legislation on Hong Kong

People take part in a march in Hong Kong on Sunday

People take part in a march in Hong Kong on Sunday

There have been past incidences when Beijing has denied USA port calls to Hong Kong due to diplomatic disputes.

US -headquartered NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Freedom House "should be punished and pay the price" for supporting "extremist and violent criminal acts" as well as "inciting separatist activities of Hong Kong Independence", Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing.

"In response to the unreasonable behaviour of the U.S. side, the Chinese government has chose to suspend reviewing the applications for USA warships to go to Hong Kong for (rest and) recuperation as of today", foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular press briefing.

Lam also said the act created an unstable environment for companies, and chambers of commerce have opposed the law.

Hong Kong has seen nearly nonstop protests for six months demanding democratic elections and an investigation into police use of force at the demonstrations. That comes after a ban by Beijing against US military from visiting the city.

Lam will visit Beijing on December 16 and meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Hong Kong broadcaster Cable TV said on Tuesday, citing sources.

Cheng, who returned home from Beijing yesterday, told reporters that she had suffered a bone fracture around her wrist and had an operation in London.

Derek Mitchell, the president of the National Democratic Institute, said in Hong Kong last week that accusations it was colluding with protesters were "patently false".

Lam told reporters on Tuesday that she strongly objects to the legislation enacted last week and expressed regret over what she described as foreign interference.

She also said the law might impact business confidence in Hong Kong and will not benefit the economy.

Lam did not specify what the next round of relief measures would include. The government has previously offered relief of about HK$21 billion (US$2.7 billion) to support the economy, particularly the transport, tourism and retail sectors. The bilateral treaty was to guarantee that Hong Kong retain its autonomy from the Chinese Communist Party and its freedoms for 50 years. But the unrest has scared off tourists and hit spending.

China denies interfering in Hong Kong's affairs and says it is committed to the "one country, two systems" formula enshrined at the handover.

While the nature of the sanctions remained unclear, the move appeared to back up Chinese threats that the United States would bear the costs of the decision.

On Monday, China said it was suspending visits to Hong Kong by the U.S. military and would impose unspecified sanctions on non-profit groups that it said had acted "badly" over the Hong Kong unrest.

Lam said approvals for such port visits were a matter for China's foreign ministry.

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.

Activists have pledged to hold lunch-time rallies throughout the week after a mass demonstration over the weekend when police fired tear gas to disperse crowds of protesters.

Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam has said she'll accelerate dialogue but hasn't offered any concessions since the elections.

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