The United States imposed sanctions on seven Chinese officials for Beijing’s suppression of democracy in Hong Kong. This is Washington’s latest effort to hold China responsible for the erosion of the rule of law in its so-called former British colonies.
The sanctions issued by the U.S. Treasury Department on Friday targeted individuals in the Hong Kong Liaison Office, and Beijing used these individuals to plan its policies on Chinese territory.
According to online information, the seven people included in the Ministry of Finance’s “Specially Designated Nationals” list are Chen Dong, He Jing, Lu Xinning, Qiu Hong, Tan Tierui, Yang Jianping, and Yin Zonghua, deputy directors of the Liaison Office.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken stated that Chinese officials “systematically Destroy Hong Kong’s democratic system, Delayed elections, removed selected legislators from the office, and arrested thousands for disagreeing with government policies.
“In the face of Beijing’s decision over the past year to stifle the democratic aspirations of the Hong Kong people, we are taking action. Today we send a clear message that the United States is determined to stand with Hong Kong people,” Brinken said in a statement.
The Treasury Department referred to a separately updated business advisory jointly issued with the State Department, the Department of Commerce, and the Department of Homeland Security, highlighting the US government’s concerns about the impact of Hong Kong’s national security laws on international companies.
Critics say Beijing implemented the law last year to promote the suppression of democracy activists and freedom of the press.
The announcement stated that the company faces risks associated with unauthorized electronic surveillance and the handover of company and customer data to the authorities, adding that individuals and businesses should be aware of the potential consequences of contact with sanctioned individuals or entities.
These actions were announced more than a year after former President Donald Trump ordered the termination of Hong Kong’s special status under US law to punish China’s “oppressive behavior” of Hong Kong.
America has Impose sanctions Other senior officials, including Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and senior police officers, because of their role in restricting Hong Kong’s political freedom.
Hong Kong officials previously called these US sanctions “an act of hostile hegemony.”
The US Hong Kong Business Consulting is like a six-month report in the UK-there is nothing you don’t know or you haven’t heard of, but this is the official US version of what happened in Hong Kong after the NSL. A signal to American companies: think twice before acting.https://t.co/FZ138sH8bY pic.twitter.com/36vIIcSPIm
-Kris Cheng (riskrislc) July 16, 2021
Earlier Friday, the Hong Kong Free Press quoted Xia Baolong, director of the China Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office, as saying that sanctions “will only arouse our anger.”
“You will only lift up a stone, and then fall heavily on your own feet. The history has proved countless times that victory must belong to the indomitable Chinese people!” Xia said in his speech.
Also on Friday, after government and university officials, the Hong Kong National Security Police raided the Hong Kong University Student Union. Scolded student Suspected of sympathizing with the man who stabbed a policeman in early July.
Breach of promise
President Joe Biden said at a press conference on Thursday that since Hong Kong returned to Chinese control in 1997, the Chinese government has violated its commitments on how to deal with the Hong Kong issue.
China promised universal suffrage as the ultimate goal of Hong Kong in its small constitution, the Basic Law. The constitution also stipulates that Hong Kong has extensive autonomy different from Beijing.
Since China implemented the National Security Law and criminalized it as subversion, separatism, terrorism, or collusion with foreign forces, most democratic activists and politicians have found themselves trapped by the law or for other reasons. catch.
Hong Kong’s most vocal democratic newspaper, Apple Daily, was forced to end its 26-year operation in June because the company’s funds were frozen.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a press conference in Beijing before the official announcement of the action that the United States should stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs, and China will make a “resolute and strong response.”
A source told Reuters on Thursday that the White House is also reviewing a possible executive order to facilitate immigration from Hong Kong, but it is still uncertain whether it will be implemented.
US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman plans to visit Japan, South Korea and Mongolia next week. The State Council announced that her visit did not mention any stay in China, which has been anticipated in the foreign policy community and reported in some media.
A senior U.S. State Department official told reporters on Friday that Washington is still negotiating with Beijing on whether Sherman will visit China.
The US government also stepped up its warning to companies on Tuesday that the risk of establishing supply chains and investment links with China’s Xinjiang region is increasing on the grounds that there are forced labor and human rights violations, which Beijing denies.
Anna Ashton, Vice President of Government Affairs of the US-China Business Council, said: “We hope that any additional actions by the United States related to Hong Kong will remain targeted and Washington will avoid policy choices that are detrimental to the people of Hong Kong. .” Announcement issued on Friday.
The South China Morning Post also stated that the latest decision was welcomed by analysts “collectively shrugging their shoulders.”
The Hong Kong-based news publication quoted Richard Boucher, the former US consul general in Hong Kong, as saying: “Whenever there is news that China is exerting greater pressure on Hong Kong, the US will pressure and act accordingly. But they have already There is nothing to do.”
According to reports, other analysts also said that the move is more symbolic because the United States is “sandwiched between the pressure of Beijing’s suppression and the business community that is still seeking market access.”