Following last week’s massive arrests as part of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) appalling crackdown on pro-democracy politicians and activists trying to promote a system of free, fair and transparent elections, the U.S. State Department sanctioned six CCP officials on charges of “developing, adopting, or implementing the National Security Law” through which the recent arrests were promoted. 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday, Jan. 15, announced the sanctions. The State Department’s proposed sanction followed the guidelines of President Donald Trump’s executive order on the Normalization of Hong Kong, signed in July 2020.

The president’s order denounced the draconian national security law imposed by the CCP as a legal tool aimed at completely nullifying the autonomy and freedoms that the CCP promised Hong Kong under the 1984 Joint Declaration between the Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the CCP on the question of Hong Kong. 

The government of the United States pledges to do everything in its power and within the law to limit as much as possible the subjugation proposed by the controversial law on the freedoms of the Hong Kong people.

Hong Kong police arrested 53 people on Jan. 5 in the largest crackdown on the democracy movement since the CCP imposed the new security law last year.

“This action by Hong Kong authorities is yet another stark example of Hong Kong’s freedoms and democratic processes being fundamentally undermined,” Pompeo said in the statement.

It was also reported that 13 former members of the Legislative Council, a US lawyer, and a former law professor were among those detained, before being released on bail. 

Pompeo also said that among the six officials sanctioned were You Quan, vice president of the Beijing Central Leading Group for Hong Kong Affairs, and Sun Qingye, deputy director of Hong Kong’s national security office.

These two officials, along with the four other sanctioned Hong Kong police officers, are associated with “developing, adopting, or implementing the national security law.”

The sanctions include freezing assets linked to the United States by the injured parties and limitations on visas to enter the country.

President Trump’s administration in July 2020 declared an end to the territory’s privileged economic status under U.S. law. Since then, it has imposed sanctions on Chinese officials on several occasions for cases of repression in Hong Kong. 

“We condemn PRC [CCP] actions that erode Hong Kong’s freedoms and democratic processes and will continue to use all tools at our disposable to hold those responsible to account,” Pompeo said in a statement.

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