US slaps sanctions on Hong Kong leader, 10 top aides for ‘undermining autonomy’

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Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam
Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam

WASHINGTON — The United States on Friday has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, and 10 other top officials from Hong Kong and mainland China, in a move likely to further escalate tensions with China.

The sanctions by the US Treasury Department are in response to a controversial national security law China imposed on Hong Kong recently. Experts say that the law threatens all freedoms Hong Kong enjoyed.

In a statement on Friday, the Treasury Department said: “Today, Treasury is sanctioning Carrie Lam, Chris Tang, Stephen Lo, John Lee Ka-chiu, Teresa Cheng, Erick Tsang, Xia Baolong, Zhang Xiaoming, Luo Huining, Zheng Yanxiong, and Eric Chan.”

“The recent imposition of draconian national security legislation on Hong Kong has not only undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy, it has also infringed on the rights of people in Hong Kong, allowing mainland China’s security services to operate with impunity in the region, mandating “national security education” in Hong Kong schools, undermining the rule of law, and setting the groundwork for censorship of any individuals or outlets that are deemed unfriendly to China,” the statement added.

Commenting on the move, Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin said: “The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong and we will use our tools and authorities to target those undermining their autonomy.”

The US Treasury directly accused Lam of "implementing Beijing's policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes".

"Carrie Lam is the chief executive directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes. In 2019, Lam pushed for an update to Hong Kong’s extradition arrangements to allow for extradition to the mainland, setting off a series of massive opposition demonstrations in Hong Kong."

“Lam is designated for being involved in developing, adopting, or implementing the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (National Security Law)," the statement further added. — Agencies


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