China yesterday denounced the United States for passing a new law on restive Tibet, saying it was "resolutely opposed" to the US legislation on what China considers an internal affair, and it risked causing "serious harm" to their relations.
US President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed into law the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act.
The law seeks to promote access to Tibet for US diplomats and other officials, journalists and other citizens by denying US entry for Chinese officials deemed responsible for restricting access to Tibet.
Beijing sent troops into remote, mountainous Tibet in 1950 in what it officially terms a peaceful liberation and has ruled there with an iron fist ever since.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a daily briefing that the law "sent seriously wrong signals to Tibetan separatist elements", as well as threatening to worsen bilateral ties strained by trade tension and other issues.
"If the United States implements this law, it will cause serious harm to China-US relations and to the cooperation in important areas between the two countries," Hua said.
The United States should be fully aware of the high sensitivity of the Tibet issue and should stop its interference, otherwise the United States would have to accept responsibility for the consequences, she added, without elaborating.
Rights groups say the situation for ethnic Tibetans inside what China calls the Tibet Autonomous Region remains extremely difficult. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said in June conditions were "fast deteriorating" in Tibet.