State Department announces sanctions on Chinese officials over Hong Kong crackdown

Source: Politico | March 17, 2021 | Quint Forgey

The sanctions represent an update to the Hong Kong Autonomy Act.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday announced sanctions against two dozen Chinese and Hong Kong officials for undermining the territory’s semi-autonomy from Beijing, just days before a crucial summit between the United States and China.

The sanctions represent an update to the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, passed last June under the Trump administration, which serves to penalize individuals, banks and other entities that enable China’s strict new national security law for Hong Kong.

The State Department announcement also comes one week after China’s ceremonial legislature approved a plan to reduce the number of Hong Kong lawmakers elected by the territory’s voters. In a statement, Blinken said the new spate of U.S. sanctions “underscores our deep concern” with the action in the National People’s Congress.

“The United States stands united with our allies and partners in speaking out for the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong, and we will respond when the [People’s Republic of China] fails to meet its obligations,” he said.


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