US president Donald Trump has ramped up sanctions against Chinese officials over their involvement in the new security law. Under the legislation passed in July, China has increased surveillance and policing powers in the former British colony despite its freedoms. China and state-supporting Hong Kong officials have now hit back at Mr Trump’s latest measures, and vowed revenge.
Mr Trump levied sanctions against 11 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region officials, barring US businesses from trading with the officials and freezing their American assets.
Luo Huining, head of China’s Hong Kong Liaison Office and one of 11 Chinese officials sanctioned, has mocked the measure and Mr Trump’s involvement in Chinese affairs.
In a statement, he said: “Being put on the US sanctions list just means that I have done what I should do for the nation and Hong Kong.
“Isn’t such a ‘sanction’ in vain as I don’t have any assets abroad?
“Of course, I can also send $100 to Mr Trump for freezing.”
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Edward Yau, Hong Kong’s commerce secretary, savaged Mr Trump’s sanctions as “unreasonable and barbarous”.
Mr Yau also claimed that the US sanctions would backfire against American investments in the city.
He also revealed Hong Kong is considering counter-measure against the US over the sanctions.
Mr Yau went on to accuse the US for having double standards, as the country also has its own national security law.
A spokesman for Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council added the US sanctions are a farce.
He remarked the sanctions were a “hysterical seizure of hegemonic habits”, and accused some US politicians of “shameless performances” since the Hong Kong security law took place.
The spokesman added that US was attempting to distract from their own failings over the coronavirus pandemic, and want to curb China’s development through destabilising Hong Kong.
He said: “Under the ‘one country, two systems’ policy, we will never allow any external force to take advantage of HKSAR to carry out any activities that could endanger China’s national security and the peace and prosperity of HKSAR.”
The sanctions were added to an executive order signed by Mr Trump last month, where the US revoked its special trade relationship with Hong Kong.
Mike Pompeo, secretary of state, said: “The Chinese Communist party has made clear that Hong Kong will never again enjoy the high degree of autonomy that Beijing itself promised to the Hong Kong people and the UK for 50 years.”
Friday also saw Mr Trump bar US companies from working with Chinese tech firms Bytedance and WeChat.
He also recommended that Chinese companies be delisted from US stock markets unless Beijing allowed American regulators proper access to the businesses’ accounts.