China-US ties plunge further over Hong Kong sanctions Aug 09, 2020 0 472 12345 AFPHong KongChina 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.” Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES Probe into Air India Express jet crash at Kozhikode airport begins Aug 09, 2020 0 688 Owner of freighter leaking oil off Mauritius apologises Aug 09, 2020 0 493 Twenty dead, more than 40 missing in southern Indian landslide Aug 09, 2020 0 32 Gaza children return to school despite virus fears AFP Gaza City Hundreds of thousands of children returned to school in Gaza Saturday after a five-month suspension aimed at reining in the spread of the novel coronavirus in the crowded Palestinian territory. Ziyad .. Hong Kong reports 69 new COVID-19 cases as total surpasses 4,000 DPA Hong Kong Hong Kong reported 69 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Saturday, according to the latest figures from the Centre for Health Protection. Of these, 67 were local infections and two were imported, bringing .. Landslide from heavy rain kills four in South Korea Seoul Four people have been killed and one is missing after heavy rains triggered a landslide in a southern town in South Korea, local offcials said on Saturday. Five homes were buried when the landslide swept through a .. Afghan grand assembly demands ceasefire, rights protection in talks DPA Kabul On the second day of the Afghan grand assembly, the committees asked both sides of the conflict to observe an unconditional ceasefire ahead of intra-Afghan peace talks, said Abdullah Abdullah, head of the .. New Zealand’s Ardern kicks off election campaign after taming virus AFP Auckland New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern kicked off her Labour Party’s election campaign Saturday riding high in the opinion polls after a successful response to the coronavirus outbreak. Ardern’s .. Hundreds protest in Bangkok after arrest of democracy activists Bangkok A flashmob of hundreds took to Bangkok’s streets Saturday to protest against the arrest of two pro-democracy activists -- the latest outburst of anger in a movement increasingly vocal in its demand for reforms in ..