İrem UZUN -TDO- In the latest escalation in tensions between Washington and Beijing, China on Wednesday vowed to sanction U.S. institutions and politicians in retaliation for President Donald Trump signing legislation to punish Chinese officials for infringing upon Hong Kong's autonomy.

President Donald Trump took two actions against China in response to Beijing’s moves on Hong Kong on Tuesday, signing an executive order ending the city’s preferential trade treatment, and enacting a bill that would require sanctions against foreign individuals and banks for contributing to the erosion of Hong Kong’s autonomy. “Hong Kong will now be treated the same as mainland China,” Trump said in a news conference at the White House. “No special privileges, no special economic treatment, and no export of sensitive technologies,” he said. Hong Kong Autonomy Act will impose sanctions on businesses and individuals that assisted China in implementing a security law that criminalizes secession, sedition, subversion, terrorism and working with foreign agencies to undermine the national security of China in Hong Kong. "This law gives my administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals and the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong's freedom," Trump said.

In a statement on Wednesday, China's foreign ministry said it "firmly opposes and strongly condemns" the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which unanimously passed the U.S. Congress earlier this month and approves sanctions on Chinese officials and banks over Beijing's clampdown in Hong Kong. "China will make necessary responses to protect its legitimate interests, and impose sanctions on relevant U.S. personnel and entities...Hong Kong affairs are purely China’s internal affairs and no foreign country has the right to interfere,” it concluded.

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