US sanctions 14 Chinese officials over Hong Kong | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 09, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:44 AM, December 09, 2020

US sanctions 14 Chinese officials over Hong Kong

  • Beijing vows 'firm counter-measures against the malicious actions'

  • US House votes to open doors to Hong Kong residents

  • Eight Hong Kong activists arrested over security law protest

 

The United States imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 Chinese officials over their alleged role in Beijing's disqualification last month of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong, prompting China to say it will retaliate.

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Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a news briefing on Tuesday that Beijing would take "firm counter-measures against the malicious actions by the US to safeguard our sovereignty, security and developmental rights."

The US move announced on Monday, which was first reported by Reuters, targeted the vice chairpersons of the National People's Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), the top decision-making body of the Chinese legislature.

The Trump administration earlier slapped sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the Asian financial hub's current and former police chiefs and other top officials in August for what it said was their role in curtailing freedoms in a crackdown on the territory's pro-democracy movement.

Earlier, the House of Representatives voted to welcome Hong Kong residents to live temporarily in the United States, vowing to be a beacon for rights as China clamps down in the territory.

The House moved by consensus to issue so-called Temporary Protected Status for five years to Hong Kong residents, meaning that people from the financial hub will have the right to work in the United States and will not be subject to deportation.

Meanwhile, eight Hong Kong democracy activists including three former lawmakers were arrested yesterday for their part in a July protest, the latest in a broad crackdown by authorities under a sweeping new security law. They could face a maximum of five years in prison. 

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