The US sanctioned over a dozen Chinese officials Monday over Beijing’s clampdown in Hong Kong after China effectively disqualified pro-democracy lawmakers from the semi-autonomous territory’s legislature.
“Beijing’s unrelenting assault against Hong Kong’s democratic processes has gutted its Legislative Council, rendering the body a rubber stamp devoid of meaningful opposition,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.
“One aspect of that assault has been the actions of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee (NPCSC), which have effectively neutered the ability of the people of Hong Kong to choose their elected representatives in keeping with the Joint Declaration and Basic Law,” he added.
In all, Washington is designating 14 senior members of the NPCSC. They include Wang Chen, Cao Jianming, Zhang Chunxian, Shen Yueyue, Ji Bingxuan, Arken Imirbaki, Wan Exiang, Chen Du, Wang Dongming, Padma Choling, Ding Zhongli, Hao Mingjin, Cai Dafeng, and Wu Weihua.
The individuals and their immediate familiy are now barred from traveling to the US, and any property they own subject to US jurisdiction has been frozen. US individuals are also barred from conducting business with them.
Hong Kong on Nov. 11 disqualified four lawmakers from the region’s Legislative Council (LegCo) after China issued a go-ahead notice. The disqualified pro-democracy lawmakers, who sit on opposition benches, included Dennis Kwok Wing-hang, Alvin Yeung Ngok-kiu, Kwok Ka-ki, and Kenneth Leung Kai-cheong.
The decision to disqualify the lawmakers by Hong Kong’s government came after a resolution passed the NPCSC said lawmakers would “immediately lose their seats if they were ruled to have promoted or supported the notion of Hong Kong independence, refused to endorse the country’s resumption of sovereignty over the city, sought foreign forces to meddle in the city’s affairs or engaged in acts that jeopardize national security.”
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