The Chinese have a big problem with Hong Kong and its ongoing democracy movement, and they’ve decided that certain elements from the United States are to blame. So on Monday, they announced that U.S. military ships and aircraft won’t be allowed to visit Hong Kong, and also announced sanctions against several U.S. non-government organizations (NGOs) for encouraging protesters to “engage in extremist, violent and criminal acts.”

China’s pushback against the U.S. follows the move by the Trump administration to support democracy in Hong Kong by signing the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. This move, seen as a provocation by the Chinese, allows the U.S. to sanction individuals who violated human rights in Hong Kong. President Trump said that the law sailed through Congress with nearly unanimous bipartisan support. 

That move had the Chinese Foreign Ministry accusing the U.S. of “bullying behavior” as well as for “publicly supporting violent criminals.” So, the Chinese move on Monday didn’t come as a surprise. 

Beijing response was seen as moderate, as it didn’t want to take action against the United States that would upset the ongoing talks to end the trade war between the two countries.