US poised to sanction more China officials for Hong Kong crackdown

Topics US China | US sanctions | Hong Kong

The move comes as President Donald Trump continues to pile pressure on China’s Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party in his final weeks in office
The US is preparing to sanction at least a dozen more Chinese officials over their role in the recent disqualification of Hong Kong legislators, according to two people familiar with the plans.

The latest round of sanctions over Hong Kong could be rolled out as soon as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the measures haven’t been formally announced. The move comes as President Donald Trump continues to pile pressure on China’s Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party in his final weeks in office.

While the names or positions of any of the potential targets weren’t immediately known, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was expected to sign off on a list that included high-ranking officials. The Trump administration had previously declined to sanction any members of the Politburo’s supreme Standing Committee.

News that the US was preparing sanctions on some Chinese officials helped sour the tone in global financial markets in Asian trading Monday morning, and futures on the S&P 500 Index slipped 0.2 per cent.

As many as 14 people were expected to be impacted, Reuters, which first reported the sanctions, said separately.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Monday Beijing would take countermeasures should the US continue down the “wrong path,” without elaborating.

“If the reports are true, I believe you can imagine China’s position,” Hua said. “We firmly oppose and strongly condemn U.S. interference in China’s internal affairs and sanctions on Chinese personnel under the pretext of Hong Kong. We have expressed our positions to the US side many times and made legitimate and necessary responses.”

Hua spoke hours after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told the US-China Business Council that Washington and Beijing should “work together” to “achieve a smooth transition” of their ties.




Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel