Because China is threatening to weaken Hong Kong’s opposition with electoral reform, the US announced sanctions shortly before a meeting of both countries’ foreign ministers.
In response to controversial electoral reform in Hong Kong, the US has increased its sanctions against China. They are directed against a further 24 politicians and officials from China and Hong Kong. The sanctions list now has 34 names in total, mainly high-ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party and the Hong Kong police executives. Those sanctioned include Wang Chen from the Communist Party Political Bureau, China’s highest power, and Tam Yiu-Chung, the Hong Kong delegate to the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that foreign financial institutions knowingly conducting significant business with the persons concerned would now be sanctioned. The addition to the list is in response to Chinese laws that “unilaterally undermine the Hong Kong electoral system.” Last week, the electoral reform passed in the Chinese People’s Congress included a review of the “suitability” of candidates for Hong Kong’s parliament and for the committee that elects the region’s head of government.
This will prevent any opposition from taking part in the Chinese Special Administrative Region’s elections, which has lost much of its sovereignty in recent years. “This action further limits the high level of autonomy that was promised to the people of Hong Kong,” said Blinken. It prevents Hong Kongers from participating in their government.