HONG KONG: Hong Kong on Saturday stepped back from its latest sanctions on six pro-China officials, calling the move “crazy, shameless and despicable”.
The United States announced on Friday that it had arrested more than 50 pro-democracy activists in the financial hub and charged half a dozen officials at Hong Kong’s only representative body, including the only representative of China’s top legislature. Imposing sanctions.
In a statement, the Hong Kong government expressed “outrage” and condemned the “coercive measures” that led Washington to interfere in China’s internal affairs and protect the city’s national security. There is a fresh attempt to disrupt the effort. China enacted a strict security law in Hong Kong last year, following large-scale and sometimes violent protests, in an effort to secure the region’s separate independence.
At least 90 people have been arrested under the security law, which provides for life in prison for any offense in Beijing, including “separatism, sedition, collusion with foreign forces and terrorism.”
The latest mass arrests, described as “amazing” by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, include US-born human rights lawyer John Klassi, prominent activist Joshua Wong and law professor Benny Tai.
An official spokesman said in a statement that “the US government has taken advantage of every incident and made excuses to make sarcastic remarks about national security law.”
The United States has previously imposed sanctions on Hong Kong’s top leader, Chief Executive Kerry Lam, who later admitted that he had to rely on cash and could no longer keep bank accounts.
Yesterday’s sanctions hurt You Yu Chong, a delegate to the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of Hong Kong, and Aap Kuan, vice chairman of the Chinese government’s group on policy towards Hong Kong and its former colony of Macau.