US sanctions 24 Hong Kong and Chinese officials, Biden administration’s first

DHARAMSALA, 17 March: The US has announced sanctions against 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials for contributing to the ongoing erosion of Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.

“Today the United States listed 24 PRC and Hong Kong officials under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act in response to the PRC further undermining the autonomy, rights, and freedoms promised to people in Hong Kong. #StandWithHongKong,” the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted as he announced the Biden administration’s first sanctions against Chinese officials.

The US Department of State declared the sanctions against the Chinese officials under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act passed by the US last year that mandates sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who carry out human rights abuses.

The development came days ahead of Secretary of State Tony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s meeting with their counterparts, China’s Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi in Alaska Anchorage, Alaska.

The two days meeting from Thursday to Friday is notably the first meeting between the officials from both countries since President Joe Biden took office in January,

The actions of the 24 officials, the statement declared reduced “Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and contributed to the “failure of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to meet its obligations under the Sino-British Joint Declaration or Hong Kong’s Basic Law, as defined by the Act.”

“A stable, prosperous Hong Kong that respects human rights, freedoms, and political pluralism serves the interests of Hong Kong, mainland China, and the broader international community. The United States stands united with our allies and partners in speaking out for the rights and freedoms of people in Hong Kong, and we will respond when the PRC fails to meet its obligations,” the statement concluded.

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