The Biden administration warned US businesses in a Friday advisory of the "growing risks" posed by the governments in Beijing and Hong Kong.
The administration also sanctioned seven Chinese nationals under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act of 2020.
The release of the advisory and sanctions are likely to further inflame tensions between Washington and Beijing. A Chinese spokesman, asked about the pending measures earlier Friday, blasted US "interference" and said China would "respond strongly."
The business advisory, issued by the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security, noted that, "businesses, individuals, and other persons, including academic institutions, research service providers, and investors ... that operate in Hong Kong, or have exposure to sanctioned individuals or entities, should be aware of changes to Hong Kong's laws and regulations."
The advisory noted that measures like China's national security law "could adversely affect businesses and individuals operating in Hong Kong," and outlined four key areas of risk: "data privacy risks; risks regarding transparency and access to critical business information; and risks for businesses with exposure to sanctioned Hong Kong or PRC entities or individuals."
President Joe Biden, asked about the advisory on Thursday, told reporters, "the situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating, and the Chinese government is not keeping the commitment it made, how to deal with Hong Kong. And so, it is more of an advisory as to what may happen in Hong Kong. It's as simple as that and as complicated as that."
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian, speaking before the US actions were formally announced, hit back at US "interference," saying "Hong Kong is part of China and its affairs are purely China's internal affairs."
"No country has the right to make wanton criticism and meddle in them," Lijian said at the foreign ministry's daily briefing. "The Chinese government is firmly determined to oppose US interference in Hong Kong affairs, safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests, and implement One Country, Two Systems."
"The US should adhere to international law and basic norms governing international relations, stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs in any form and stop interfering in China's domestic affairs. China will respond strongly to possible US measures," he said.