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Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying. Photo: Artyom Ivanov\TASS via Getty Images

China's foreign ministry on Thursday announced new restrictions on American officials traveling to Hong Kong in retaliation for sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, the AP reports.

Why it matters: The move is the latest escalation in a series of tit-for-tat measures between the U.S. and China over Hong Kong, which began when Beijing imposed a draconian national security law on the once semi-autonomous region in June.

  • U.S. diplomats going to Hong Kong and nearby Macau will no longer have visa-free tourist privileges.
  • American administration officials, congressional staffers, employees of non-governmental organizations and immediate family members will be subject to "reciprocal sanctions," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.

What they're saying: “China once again urges the U.S. side to immediately stop meddling in Hong Kong affairs, stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, and not go further down the wrong and dangerous path,” Hua said.

Background: China's new restrictions come days after the U.S. imposed sanctions on 14 high-level Chinese officials after the arrests of a number of pro-democracy figures in Hong Kong.

Go deeper

Updated Jan 23, 2021 - Health

Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as coronavirus cases surge

Hong Kong health workers patrol a street where COVID-19 cases have been confirmed. Photo: Anthony Kwan via Getty Images

Hong Kong has placed tens of thousands of residents on lockdown to contain a new coronavirus outbreak.

Why it matters: It’s the first time Hong Kong has imposed a lockdown since the pandemic began. The restrictions are expected to last 48 hours.

Merrick Garland: Domestic terror is "still with us"

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In his first major speech, Attorney General Merrick Garland warned the nation Monday to remain vigilant against the rising threat of domestic extremism.

Why it matters: Domestic terrorism poses an "elevated threat" to the nation this year, according to U.S. intelligence. Garland has already pledged to crack down on violence linked to white supremacists and right-wing militia groups.