US blacklists Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, other officials

WASHINGTON: The United States on Friday (Aug 7) imposed sanctions on Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, as well as the city's current and former police chiefs and eight other officials for their role in curtailing political freedoms in the territory.

The sanctions were imposed under an executive order US President Donald Trump signed last month to punish China for its moves against dissent in Hong Kong and are the latest action by his administration against Beijing in the run-up to his November re-election bid.

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As well as Mrs Lam, the sanctions target Hong Kong Police commissioner Chris Tang and his predecessor Stephen Lo; John Lee Ka-chiu, Hong Kong's secretary of security, and Teresa Cheng, the justice secretary, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

READ: Beijing's top Hong Kong office slams US sanctions as 'gangster logic and bullying'

It said Beijing's imposition of draconian national security legislation had undermined Hong Kong's autonomy and allowed mainland security services to operate with impunity, "setting the groundwork for censorship of any individuals or outlets that are deemed unfriendly to China".

"Carrie Lam is the chief executive directly responsible for implementing Beijings policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes," it said.

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“The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong and we will use our tools and authorities to target those undermining their autonomy,” Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said in the statement.

The sanctions freeze any US asset of the officials and generally bar Americans from doing business with them.

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