The White House announced the new sanctions Friday against Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other Hong Kong and Chinese officials as a penalty for ending the territory’s political autonomy.
“The unscrupulous intentions of the U.S. politicians to support the anti-China chaos in Hong Kong have been revealed, and their clowning actions are really ridiculous,” Beijing’s top representative office in Hong Kong, the Liaison Office, said in a statement.
Luo Huining, the director of the Liaison Office, was listed among the officials to be sanctioned.
While announcing the sanctions, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had singled out Lam in a statement as the official “directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes.”
“The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong and we will use our tools and authorities to target those undermining their autonomy,” Mnuchin said.
The sanctions are the latest in escalating tensions between China and the Trump administration, which have clashed over everything from the coronavirus to TikTok, the popular social media app among teens.
Under the new Chinese national security law in Hong Kong, residents are barred from participating in “any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People’s Government.”
Hong Kong authorities made 300 arrests during the initial enforcement of the law on July 1.
Lam, who had been the target of widespread protests as the law was proposed as passed, said she would “laugh it off” if the U.S. sanctioned her.
“I do not have any assets in the United States,” she said at the time, “nor do I long for moving to the United States.”
With Post wires.