China hits US on Saturday for imposing “barbaric”in response to the crackdown in Beijing in Hong Kong, which ended a dramatic week of deteriorating relations between the world’s two largest economies. The Hong Kong government, meanwhile, described the sanctions as “shameless and contemptuous”, adding that it fully supported the “opposition”.
In the toughest US action against Hong Kong since China imposed aon the territory of Washington on Friday sanctioned a group of Chinese and Hong Kong officials ̵
The move came after the administration of President Donald Trump forced Chinese Internet giantsand WeChat to suspend all operations in the United States, in a double diplomatic-trade offensive that must increase before the US presidential election in November.
China on Saturday criticized the sanctions as “barbaric and harsh”.
“The bad intentions of American politicians to support people who are anti-Chinese and involve Hong Kong have been clearly revealed,” the Beijing Liaison Office said in a statement.
The Treasury Department has announced that it is freezing US assets of CEO Kerry Lam and 10 other senior officials, including Luo Huining, the head of the Liaison Office.
He accused the sanctioned individuals of “direct responsibility for implementing Beijing’s policies to suppress freedom and democratic processes”.
This move criminalizes all financial transactions in the United States with sanctioned employees.
In a brief statement, Luo said he welcomed the blacklist.
“I did everything I had to do for the country and for Hong Kong,” he said. “I have no valuable value from foreign assets.”
Hong Kong Trade Secretary Edward Yau warned that “savage and unjustified” sanctions could have a discount for US business in Hong Kong.
“If the United States unilaterally acts unreasonably, it will ultimately affect American companies,” he told reporters.
Beijing’s security law was imposed in late June, following last year’s massive pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, sending political cold through the semi-autonomous city.
Last week, four students were arrested in Hong Kong during the first police operation to enforce the new law, officials said. Earlier, arrests were made under the new law on banners and slogans on display.
Since the law was imposed, authorities have postponed elections, citing the coronavirus pandemic, issued arrest warrants for six exiled pro-democracy activists and launched repression against other activists.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the security law violated China’s promises before the 1997 surrender to Hong Kong that the city could retain key freedoms and autonomy for 50 years.
“We will not be on standby as long as the people of Hong Kong suffer brutal oppression from the Chinese Communist Party or its supporters,” Pompeo tweeted.