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China-US ties plunge further over Hong Kong sanctions

China-US ties plunge further over Hong Kong sanctions

AFP
Hong Kong
China on Saturday slammed the United States for imposing “barbarous” sanctions in response to Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong, capping a dramatic week of deteriorating relations between the world’s two biggest economies.
In the toughest US action on Hong Kong since China imposed a sweeping new security law on the territory, Washington on Friday imposed sanctions on a group of Chinese and Hong Kong officials -- including the city’s leader Carrie Lam.
The move came after President Donald Trump’s administration forced Chinese internet giants TikTok and WeChat to end all operations in the US, in a twin diplomatic-commercial offensive set to grow ahead of the US presidential election in November.
China on Saturday criticised the sanctions as “barbarous and rude”.
“The ill intentions of US politicians to support people who are anti-China and messing up Hong Kong have been clearly revealed,” Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong said in a statement.
The Treasury Department announced it was freezing the US assets of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other senior officials, including Luo Huining -- the head of the Liaison Office.
It accused the sanctioned individuals of being “directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes”.
The move criminalises any US financial transactions with the sanctioned officials.
In a short statement, Luo said he welcomed the blacklisting.
“I have done what I should do for the country and for Hong Kong,” he said. “I don’t have a dime’s worth in foreign assets.”
The Hong Kong government described the sanctions as “shameless and despicable”.
“We will fully support the Central Government to adopt countermeasures,” it said in a statement.
China’s Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office said the sanctions list “rudely tramples on international law” and “will be nailed to the historic pillar of shame forever.”

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