U.S. imposes sanctions on seven Chinese officials

The U.S. has imposed sanctions against seven Chinese officials over the situation in Hong Kong. It was announced on Friday, July 16, in a statement from the U.S. Treasury Department.

All of them were added to the sanctions list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Along with this, the State Department, the Department of Economic Affairs, the Department of Homeland Security and the Treasury issued a recommendation that “highlights the growing risks associated with the actions of the PRC government and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, which could adversely affect U.S. companies operating in Hong Kong.”

The recommendation also states that U.S. citizens and businesses are prohibited from conducting certain transactions with sanctioned individuals without an existing general or special license from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control or other exemptions.

Earlier, in the final communiqué of the G7 summit, which was held in Britain from June 11 to 13, the leaders of the participating countries expressed their intention to agree on approaches to “non-market practices and policies” of China, as well as respect for human rights in some regions of China. According to the statement, the countries intend to call on China to “respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially with regard to Xinjiang and Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.

The Chinese authorities strongly protested to the G7 summit countries in this regard.

Earlier, on April 19, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution calling for continued U.S. government sanctions on China over the situation in Hong Kong. The congressmen condemned the Chinese government for “violations of the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong by the PRC and the Special Administrative Region government.”

On August 7, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department announced sanctions against Carrie Lam, head of the Hong Kong administration, and 11 other people. As the department explained, Washington thus uses tools and power to go after those who undermine Hong Kong’s autonomy. In turn, on August 10 of the same year, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Zhao said that Beijing had imposed mirror sanctions on 11 US officials.