China denounces Washington's decision to sanctions. File photo
China's office in Hong Kong on Saturday denounced Washington's decision to sanction key officials over sliding freedoms in the business hub, calling the move "barbarous and rude".
"The ill intentions of US politicians to support people who are anti-China and messing up Hong Kong have been clearly revealed," Beijing's Liaison Office in Hong Kong said in a statement.
The US on Friday imposed sanctions on Hong Kong officials, including the pro-China leader of the government, accusing them of cooperating with Beijing’s effort to undermine autonomy and crack down on freedom in the former British colony.
President Donald Trump at a military base. File photo
The sanctions are the latest in a string of actions the Trump administration has taken targeting China as tensions between the two nations rise over trade, COVID-19 and other issues. President Donald Trump’s offensive against China comes as he assigns full blame to Beijing for the coronavirus outbreak in the US, deflecting criticism of his own handling of the pandemic that threatens his re-election.
The Treasury Department announced sanctions on Carrie Lam, the leader of the government in Hong Kong, and 10 other officials. The sanctions were authorized by an executive order that Trump signed recently to levy penalties against China for its efforts to curtail anti-government protesters in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong has long enjoyed civil liberties not seen in mainland China because it is governed under a "one country, two systems” principle in place since it reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.
In this file photo shows the leader of the government in Hong Kong Carrie Lam.
However, Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong earlier this year, raising widespread concerns about the Chinese government cracking down on the anti-government protests.
"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,” the Treasury Department said in a statement.
Treasury said the new law has allowed authorities in mainland China to operate with impunity in Hong Kong, has mandated "national security education” in Hong Kong schools, undermined the rule of law and laid the groundwork to censor individuals and outlets "deemed unfriendly” to China.Agencies
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