According to Reuters, the website of the U.S. Department of the Treasury has announced sanctions on a number of officials of mainland China and Hong Kong, including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam.
|Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam (Lam Trinh Nguyet Nga). Photo: CNN.|
As reported by CNN, in addition to Carrie Lam, Washington has sanctioned Commissioner of the Hong Kong Police Force Chris Tang, former police commissioner Stephen Lo, Hong Kong Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu, Hong Kong Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, Hong Kong Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang, Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Xia Baolong.
Other China and Hong Kong officials also included in the list are Deputy Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council Zhang Xiaoming, Director of the Hong Kong Liaison Office Luo Huining, Director of the Office for Safeguarding National Security in Hong Kong Zheng Yanxiong, and Secretary General of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Eric Chan.
These officials were reported to be punished for their role in reducing political freedom in Hong Kong, the former British colony.
Last week, Hong Kong officials outlined new rules restricting dissidents and democracy activists, also arrested four others because of their posts on social media. Beijing's determination to enforce new security laws and criticism from major trading partners could have a big impact on Hong Kong's economy, which has already been hit by protests that lasted since last year, as well as the social distancing to prevent the COVID-19 pandemic.
|US President Donald Trump has chosen increasing pressure on Beijing as a major move for his re-election campaign. Photo: AP.|
Trump has previously threatened to take action since China passed the national security law for the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region two months ago. Therefore, the sanctions are being executed according to an executive order that he signed last month.
The Trump administration's latest move will mark another escalation in tensions between the world's two largest economies, as the head of the White House is running for a second term.
On August 6, President Trump also signed two executive decrees to prohibit US citizens and companies from doing business with people and entities that own China's TikTok and WeChat apps, for the two apps were believed to threaten US national security.
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