HK officials shrug off US‘ unilateral sanction

Hong Kong

Regarding the US‘ newly published details on sanctions on Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) officials, some of the sanctioned officials responded that they have never taken the “futile” sanctions seriously. 

After the US Department of the Treasury stated on its website on Friday that Americans are prohibited from engaging in transactions or dealings with officials from Hong Kong under the US‘ sanctions, Teresa Cheng Yeuk-wah, Hong Kong Secretary of Justice who is on the sanctions list, reiterated that safeguarding national security, sovereignty and unity is the basic right and responsibility of a country and its residents. 

“With my unwavering commitment to national security and the nation‘s support, the so-called sanctions by the US will be futile,” Cheng told the Global Times on Saturday. 

Chris Tang Ping-keung, the commissioner of police of the HKSAR and another target of the US‘ sanctions, said he “never took the sanctions seriously.” 

“It will not shake my determination and confidence in safeguarding the security of our country and Hong Kong,” Tang told the Global Times via e-mail on Sunday, “It is my responsibility and honor.” 

The US Department of the Treasury placed sanctions on 11 officials from the Chinese mainland and Hong Kong, including the city‘s Chief Executive Carrie Lam, for allegedly “undermining Hong Kong‘s autonomy and restricting freedom of expression or assembly of the citizens of Hong Kong” in August. 

According to the statement, the US Department of the Treasury also prohibits Americans from dealing in the property or interests in property of the sanctioned officials, including “any entities that are directly or indirectly owned 50 percent or more” by them. 

However, US residents‘ conducting routine exchanges with the HKSAR government departments is allowed where the sanctioned targets are not directly or indirectly involved, according to the US Department of Treasury. 

The HKSAR government said on Saturday that it will not respond to a statement aiming at the Americans. 

“The government has already made clear that the so-called sanctions are unjustified and are results of gross interference by the US in China‘s internal affairs,” the HKSAR government added, “The sanctioned officials will continue to perform their duty to protect national security without fear of external threat.”

“The US will continue to abuse its rule-making power in international politics to suppress the HKSAR in various ways in the foreseeable future, suppressing China and claiming its hegemony,” Fan Peng, a research fellow from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences‘ Institute of Political Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times on Sunday. Fan said that the sanctioned officials should prepare for worsening scenarios, and the central government should take protective measures against those unilateral moves. 

The US sanctions on Chinese officials are not legally binding in Hong Kong, stated the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) following the sanctions in August, as they are unilateral foreign sanctions and not passed by the UN. 


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