BANGKOK (Reuters) – China’s Communist Party will allow no Chinese nationals to travel to Hong Kong, Macau and Macau as it seeks to curb what it calls a scourge of terrorism, a move the United States condemned on Wednesday.
Chinese Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin said the move to restrict Chinese nationals entering Hong Kong and Macao was aimed at tackling the threat of terrorism and would help counter the spread of terror networks.
“China will make no exceptions to its policy to maintain law and order in Hong Kong,” Liu told a regular news briefing, citing security concerns.
He said China was working with the Hong Kong SAR Government to “safeguard the integrity and security of Hong Kong”.
The United States said China had a “deep-seated intolerance” of terrorism.
“The United State firmly condemns terrorism and all forms of violence against any nation,” U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Gibbs said in a statement.
“We strongly condemn the Hongkong SAR Government’s decision to limit the travel of Chinese nationals and other international citizens to Hongkongs territory.”
“We have no tolerance for such acts and will continue to urge the government of Hongkous to fully implement the law and uphold its commitments under the law,” he said.
On Wednesday, Chinese authorities in Macau issued travel restrictions for Chinese citizens and businesses, but allowed Chinese nationals in Hongkou to travel on the mainland.
The government of Macau has long been accused of clamping down on the rights of Chinese citizens living in Hong Kokou, a territory with a population of nearly 1 million.
China is one of the world’s largest exporters of Chinese goods, including cars, computers and electronics, but many are held back by strict regulations and laws.
The United Nations has called on China to allow foreign nationals living in the territory to stay and study, but a group of activists and business leaders have called for the mainland to release all those on a “no-fly list” – those believed to pose a security risk.