The Trump administration slapped sanctions Friday on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam and 10 other people, in the toughest action yet over China’s crackdown there.
The Treasury Department said it was issuing the sanctions “for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and restricting the freedom of expression or assembly of the citizens of Hong Kong.”
The action freezes any U.S. property of the 11 individuals.
“The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong and we will use our tools and authorities to target those undermining their autonomy,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin.
Treasury said Ms. Lam is the chief executive “directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes.” In 2019, she pushed for expanded extraditions to the mainland, “setting off a series of massive opposition demonstrations in Hong Kong,” Treasury said.
Among the others on the sanctions list are Chris Tang, commissioner of the Hong Kong police force, former police commissioner Stephen Lo and Security Secretary John Lee Ka-chiu.
“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,” Treasury said.