China Revokes US Diplomat Exemptions for Hong Kong

December 10, 2020 Updated: December 10, 2020

China said on Thursday it would revoke visa exemption treatment for U.S. diplomatic passport holders visiting Hong Kong and Macau after the United States imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on more than a dozen Chinese officials.

The Chinese regime says it will revoke the exemption that some U.S. officials receive on visas—for visiting Hong Kong and Macau.

It specifically targets people who hold American diplomatic passports, and comes after the United States imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on more than a dozen Chinese officials this week.

Beijing says it will also implement reciprocal sanctions against some U.S. officials, members of Congress, staff at non-governmental organizations, and their family members, over what a foreign ministry spokeswoman called “vile” U.S. behavior on Hong Kong and a “dangerous and mistaken path.”

She declined to give names of those sanctioned or to say when the sanctions would start.

The United States imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 Chinese officials this week over their role in adopting a national security law for Hong Kong, over Beijing’s disqualification last month of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong, and over significant violations of human rights—including a Chinese official and his wife for his involvement in “gross human rights violations” against Falun Gong practitioners, a spiritual practice persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party since 1999.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the U.S. Treasury also slapped sanctions on WanKuok Koi, an organized crime boss for China’s 14K Triad—and three entities “owned or controlled” by him.

Widely known as “Broken Tooth,” Wan had close ties to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, a largely ceremonial advisory body, according to the Treasury statement. China’s foreign ministry has refuted that claim.

Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.