China yesterday accused the US of seeking to "destroy" Hong Kong and threatened retaliation after the US Congress passed new legislation supporting the pro-democracy movement that has thrown the territory into almost six months of turmoil.
The latest flareup in trade tensions came after President Donald Trump imposed punitive tariffs a year ago on billions of dollars' worth of Chinese exports to the United States, seeking to ramp up pressure for changes in Chinese trade and investment policies.
Wang made the remarks Thursday during a meeting with former U.S. Secretary of Defense William Cohen in Beijing.
Though the bill has yet to go before US President Donald Trump for consideration, China wasted little time in condemning the vote, with the state-owned People's Daily describing it as "a piece of waste paper", and a "serious provocation against the entire Chinese people" in an editorial published Thursday.
Hong Kong's benchmark stock index fell 1.5 percent, leading Asian markets lower over fears that Congress's move could throw a spanner into the delicate US-China effort to reach a trade deal between the world's two largest economies.
With Hong Kong's Beijing-backed government refusing to enter into dialogue or make concessions, the territory's police force has been given broad powers to quell the protests. A source told Reuters Trump may indeed sign the bill although he refused to answer direct questions on the matter from reporters on Wednesday.
Top House Republican Kevin McCarthy hailed the vote as a warning to Beijing.
The ministry again urged the USA side to understand the situation clearly, stop the passing of the act into law and stop meddling in China's internal affairs.
"I know Hong Kongers can hear and feel the strong support and backing of the US from today's bipartisan votes", he added.
Al Jazeera's Scott Heidler, reporting from Hong Kong, said despite "several students" having left the facility over the last 24 hours, a contingent of about 100 protesters remain holed up inside.
On Hong Kong, he has mostly avoided commenting.
Dozens have been arrested and now face charges that could land them in prison for up to a decade. In fact, there is growing concern that it will lead to a stalemate in the negotiations underway to form a mutually satisfactory pact to end the US-China trade war.
Beijing promised Hong Kong a "high degree of autonomy, quot; for 50 years when it regained sovereignty over the territory, but protesters say freedoms have constantly eroded".
The protesters believe China has gradually been whittling away their liberties since the handover, including by suppressing the "Umbrella Movement" in 2014 and by kidnapping the five Hong Kong booksellers.
Hong Kong's Beijing-appointed leaders have rebuffed the demands.
The protests have also more broadly become a statement against increasing instances of police brutality in Hong Kong and Chinese political influence.