10:29 GMT02 July 2020
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    Earlier in the day, China's parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution to draft a law on national security in Hong Kong.

    It is "utterly imperious, unreasonable and shameless" for some in the US to criticise China's legitimate measures to strengthen national security, the Commissioner's Office of China's Foreign Ministry in Hong Kong said, as quoted by Reuters.

    "Legislating on national security is within the power and the obligation of the central authorities...," a spokesperson of the Commissioner of China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong said in a statement.

    According to the statement, the legislation will not affect citizens' rights and freedoms or the interests of foreign investors. The spokesperson also urged Washington to "stop meddling" in China's internal affairs.

    Earlier on Thursday, the Chinese parliament overwhelmingly passed a resolution to draft a law on national security in Hong Kong. Under this resolution, the National People's Congress Committee has been charged with writing a bill on Hong Kong's security.

    On Wednesday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that Washington would have to reconsider the level of autonomy in Hong Kong if the new legislation is passed. Prior to that, US National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien said that Beijing could face sanctions if the US finds that Hong Kong's autonomy has been compromised. 

    China sees the current political situation in Hong Kong as a purely domestic matter.

    US-China Tensions on the Rise

    Apart from US criticism of China's handling of its relations with Hong Kong, Beijing and Washington have been at loggerheads about a response to the global coronavirus pandemic. US President Donald Trump recently blamed Beijing for failing to contain the new virus from spreading globally.

    Chinese Premier Li Keqiang commented on the situation on Thursday.

    "Regarding decoupling [between the two countries], if two major economies of the world decouple from each other, it will not benefit either side and would harm the world," Li said during a press conference following the closing ceremony of the National People’s Congress.

    Nevertheless, Li stressed that both sides needed to focus on their common interests.

    "We have different political systems, cultural traditions and historical backgrounds. It is inevitable for us to have differences and conflicts. But the issue is how to handle this. In the past few decades, the China-US relationship has weathered different storms. On the one hand, we move forward through cooperation; on the other hand, we faced a lot of difficulties. It is indeed very complicated. We need the wisdom to expand our common interests and manage our differences and conflicts," he said.
    Tags:
    security, legislation, United States, China, Hong Kong
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