WASHINGTON, July 15 (Reuters) – The United States to impose sanctions on a number of Chinese officials on Friday following Beijing’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong, and warns international companies operating there against deteriorating conditions, two people with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
The sources said the financial sanctions would target seven officials from the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong, the official platform that projects Beijing’s influence in Chinese territory.
A separate updated trade advisory issued by the State Department would highlight the US government’s concerns about the impact on international businesses of Hong Kong’s national security law. Critics say Beijing implemented the law last year to help crack down on pro-democracy activists and the free press.
“Let me talk about business consulting,” said US President Joe Biden, when asked about it at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“The situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating. And the Chinese government is failing to keep the commitment it made on how it would deal with Hong Kong, so this is more of an opinion on what can happen. in Hong Kong. It’s that simple and that complicated. “
The moves mark the Biden administration’s latest effort to hold the Chinese government accountable for what Washington calls an erosion of the rule of law in the former British colony that returned to Chinese control in 1997.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a regular press conference on Friday that the United States should stop interfering in Hong Kong.
China would provide a “resolute and strong response” to US actions, he said.
The two, who asked not to be identified, said Hong Kong’s measures are still subject to change. One of the sources said the White House was also considering a possible decree on immigration from Hong Kong, but it was still not sure whether it was implemented.
The US Treasury Department declined to comment on the matter following media reports this week of possible new sanctions.
“We know that a healthy business community is built on the rule of law, which the national security law that applies to Hong Kong continues to undermine,” the State Department spokesman said Tuesday. , Ned Price, questioned on the matter. Read more
US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is planning a visit to Japan, South Korea and Mongolia next week. The State Department’s announcement of his trip made no mention of a stopover in China, which had been anticipated in foreign policy circles and reported in some media. Read more
The State Department on Tuesday stepped up warnings to companies about the growing risks of having supply chain and investment links in China’s Xinjiang region, citing forced labor and human rights abuses, which Beijing denied. Read more
Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, David Shepardson, Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Gabriel Crossley; Editing by David Gregorio and Kim Coghill
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