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China slams as ‘barbarous’ US sanctions on Hong Kong leaders

China’s office in Hong Kong on Saturday denounced Washington’s decision to sanction key officials over sliding freedoms in the business hub, calling the move “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 United States slapped sanctions Friday on Hong Kong’s leader after effectively forcing Chinese internet giants TikTok and WeChat to end all US operations, in a twin diplomatic-commercial offensive set to grow ahead of US elections.

 In the toughest US action on Hong Kong since Beijing imposed a security clampdown on the territory, the Treasury Department said it was freezing US assets of Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other senior officials, including Luo Huining, the head of the Liaison Office.

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”.

A city government spokesman said in a statement that Washington was using “Hong Kong as a pawn in its ploy to create troubles in China-US relationship”.

The move criminalizes any US financial transactions with the 11 officials, who include Hong Kong’s police commissioner, its security secretary and China’s top official in the international financial hub.

Source: Asia Times

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