The Trump administration on Friday announced it was sanctioning Hong Kong Managing Director Carrie Lam in wave of sanctions against Hong Kong officials for the Chinese government’s policy of repression “in the former territory British.
“The Chinese Communist Party has made it clear that Hong Kong will never again enjoy the high degree of autonomy that Beijing itself has promised the people of Hong Kong and the United Kingdom for 50 years,” said the secretary of state. Mike Pompeo in a statement. “President Trump has made it clear that the United States will therefore treat Hong Kong as ‘a country, a system’ and take action against the individuals who have violated the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong. “
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The Treasury Department, detailing the sanctions, said Lam was “directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policy of suppressing freedom” in Hong Kong. China recently passed a new national security law, stepping up its forays into political freedoms in Hong Kong that had been agreed upon as part of Hong Kong’s transfer in 1997.
The Treasury accused Lam of being “directly responsible for the implementation of Beijing’s policy of suppressing freedom and democratic processes.” He says she has been pushing for an update of the extradition process to allow the extradition of Hong Kong residents to the mainland. It is also designated to be “Involved in the development, adoption or implementation” of the National Security Law.
Other officials sanctioned include the Hong Kong Police Commissioner, the Hong Kong Security Secretary, the Justice Secretary and the Constitutional Affairs Secretary.
“The recent imposition of draconian national security legislation in Hong Kong not only undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy, but also violated the rights of Hong Kong residents, allowing mainland China’s security services to operate. with impunity in the region, making ‘national security education’ compulsory ‘in Hong Kong schools, undermining the rule of law and laying the groundwork for censorship of any individual or outlet deemed hostile to China’ , the Treasury said in a statement.
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The sanctions mean that all property and entities in the United States owned by individuals are blocked and must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). It also means that they are prohibited from transacting with US citizens and institutions. The sanctions are enforced under an executive order signed by President Trump last month to punish those responsible for the abuses in Hong Kong.
The sanctions are the latest moves by the Trump administration to push back China on a range of issues, including its forays into freedom in Hong Kong, as well as the perceived threat to data privacy and its management in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, China.
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The Trump administration has sanctioned a number of Chinese officials, including for the government’s persecution of minorities in the Xinjiang region, and urged countries to reject Chinese companies’ requests for access to their 5G networks for fear of security.
On Thursday, Trump issued an executive order banning social media platform TikTok within 45 days. The app is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance Ltd., which the administration has viewed as a threat to national security due to the risk that the data collected will be shared with the Chinese government.