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Hong Kong Calls U.S. Sanctions On Officials ‘Despicable’

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 1/16/2021 Tian Chen
a view of Victoria Peak at night: FILE: Buildings on the Hong Kong skyline are seen from Victoria Peak at night in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong have sustained their momentum since the first rally on June 9, creating the biggest crisis for Beijing’s rule over the former British colony since returning to China in 1997. On Monday, Sept. 16, the protests, which show no sign of stopping, will reach the 100-day mark. © Bloomberg FILE: Buildings on the Hong Kong skyline are seen from Victoria Peak at night in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong have sustained their momentum since the first rally on June 9, creating the biggest crisis for Beijing’s rule over the former British colony since returning to China in 1997. On Monday, Sept. 16, the protests, which show no sign of stopping, will reach the 100-day mark.

(Bloomberg) -- Hong Kong’s government expressed its “utmost anger” toward a U.S. decision to sanction six officials from the city and China, calling the move “insane, shameless and despicable.”

The U.S. is attempting to “intervene” in the internal affairs of China and Hong Kong, and “obstruct” their efforts to safeguard national security, the city’s government said in a statement on Saturday. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that the U.S. would sanction the officials as part of President Donald Trump’s executive order on Hong Kong normalization.

The move is the latest among a raft of measures the White House has taken to punish China after Beijing imposed national security laws in Hong Kong last year. The law has cast doubt on whether the former colony can still have the “high degree of autonomy” promised before the British handed it back to China in 1997. The U.S. has begun revoking the “special status” the city had enjoyed, and also sanctioned officials including Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

a view of Victoria Peak at night: FILE: Buildings on the Hong Kong skyline are seen from Victoria Peak at night in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong have sustained their momentum since the first rally on June 9, creating the biggest crisis for Beijing’s rule over the former British colony since returning to China in 1997. On Monday, Sept. 16, the protests, which show no sign of stopping, will reach the 100-day mark. © Bloomberg FILE: Buildings on the Hong Kong skyline are seen from Victoria Peak at night in Hong Kong, China, on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019. Anti-government protesters in Hong Kong have sustained their momentum since the first rally on June 9, creating the biggest crisis for Beijing’s rule over the former British colony since returning to China in 1997. On Monday, Sept. 16, the protests, which show no sign of stopping, will reach the 100-day mark.

“The U.S. acts are displaying double standards and hypocrisy, let alone blatantly breaching international laws and basic norms governing international relations,” the Hong Kong government said in the statement. The excuse that the U.S. uses to sanction the officials was “lame” and “could hardly stand up to challenge,” it added.

A spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Hong Kong condemned the sanctions in a statement on Saturday, saying some Western politicians are “presenting a false picture” and beautifying those who are suspected of violating the National Security Law as “pro-democracy politicians and activists.”

(Updates with foreign ministry comment in last paragraph)

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