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The US has imposed sanctions on the Hong Kong leader and Chinese officials
The Trump administration continues to punish Beijing, and now Carrie Lam and other officials in the city and Beijing have been sanctioned following the passage of the National Security ActTags
- United States
- Carrie Lam
- Hong Kong
ReutersFriday, 07 August 2020, 17:23
The United States today (Friday) imposed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Kari Lam, and ten other senior officials in the city and China, according to the Treasury Department website. This follows the passage of the National Security Act and the violation of freedoms in the former British colony, which is supposed to enjoy autonomy from Beijing.
Other senior officials included in the list of sanctions are Hong Kong Justice Minister Theresa Cheng, Public Security Minister John Lee, Police Commissioner Stephen Lou, Secretary of the National Security Committee Eric Chan, and Xia Bowlong, director Hong Kong and Macau Ministry of Affairs in Beijing.
The sanctions were imposed as part of a presidential decree signed by President Donald Trump last month. The U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement that the draconian legislation passed by China infringed on Hong Kong's autonomy while allowing Chinese security services to operate under immunity, "by preparing the ground to silence people or media outlets perceived as unfriendly to China."
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It is further stated that the mother, supported by China, is "directly responsible for the implementation of Beijing's policy of repression of freedom and the democratic process" in Hong Kong. Last week it announced a postponement of the local parliament elections for an entire year, ostensibly due to the spread of the corona virus, but the pro-democracy opposition believes it was an attempt to prevent it from raking in achievements.
"The United States stands by the people of Hong Kong, and we will use the tools at our disposal to target those who challenge their autonomy," U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Manuchin said in a statement. "Sanctions freeze U.S. assets and generally prevent U.S. citizens from doing business with them."
In a separate statement, Foreign Minister Mike Pompeo said these measures "send a message that the actions of the Hong Kong authorities are unacceptable and contrary to China's commitments."
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In recent months, the Trump administration's pressure on China has become daily, ahead of the November election. Just tonight, President Donald Trump announced that he was signing a presidential decree banning American companies from doing business with Chinese parent company of the Tiktok Wichita apps.
The United States has condemned the postponement of elections in Hong Kong, saying it is further evidence of China's undermining democracy in the territories returned to British control in 1997. Freedoms were then promised to the city for 50 years, under the "two systems, one state" method, but these have been eroded in recent years. The Chinese and Hong Kong governments report what they describe as foreign interference in their internal affairs, claiming that national security law focuses only on a small group of "troublemakers" following last year's huge demonstrations.
A source close to the internal talks in Washington said that discussions on the imposition of sanctions intensified after the postponement of the election. Trump has already ordered the abolition of the special status of the former British colony, which it enjoyed under American law. He said on Wednesday that the US stock market is expected to attract companies to leave Hong Kong.