US puts sanctions on 14 Chinese officials over Hong Kong crackdown

US puts sanctions on 14 Chinese officials over Hong Kong crackdown

Mike Pompeo cites Beijing’s ‘unrelenting assault’ on the territory’s ‘democratic processes’

Donald Trump’s administration has imposed sanctions on 14 high-level Chinese officials over allegations they have undermined democratic processes in Hong Kong.

The officials targeted for sanctions in Monday’s sweep are all high-ranking members of the rubber stamp National People’s Congress Standing Committee. The body oversees China’s legislature and was responsible for adopting and implementing the national security law that paved the way for a crackdown in Hong Kong over the summer. 

“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,” said Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, in a statement announcing the measures on Monday.

Authorities in Hong Kong have stepped up their crackdown on opposition political figures and supporters of the 2019 anti-government protests since Beijing introduced the security law in the city, targeting terrorism, subversion, collusion and foreign interference.