Washington [US], November 10 (ANI): US on Monday imposed sanctions on four Chinese nationals for implementing the contentious national security law in Hong Kong and undermining the area's autonomy, informed the US Treasury Department Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
In its updated Sanctions list, OFAC said: "The following [HK-EO13936] entries have been added to OFAC's SDN List: DENG, Zhonghua, LAU, Edwina, LI, Jiangzhou, LI, Steve Kwai-wah."
In a press statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: "The People's Republic of China (PRC) and Hong Kong-based officials continue to dismantle the promised autonomy and freedoms of Hong Kong through politically motivated arrests. Today, the US Department of State is designating four PRC and Hong Kong officials in connection with implementing the PRC-imposed National Security Law and threatening the peace, security, and autonomy of Hong Kong, pursuant to Executive Order 13936."
According to Pompeo, the Department designated Li Jiangzhou, Edwina Lau, and Steve Li Kwai-Wah as having been leaders or officials of entities, including any government entity, that have engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, developing, adopting, or implementing the Law of the People's Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (NSL).
Li Jiangzhou is the Deputy Director of the Office for Safeguarding National Security, which was established under the NSL. Edwina Lau is the head of the National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police Force and Steve Li Kwai-Wah is the Senior Superintendent, according to Pompeo's statement.
"Additionally, this action designates Deng Zhonghua, the Deputy Director of the Hong Kong & Macau Affairs Office (HKMAO). The HKMAO - one of the central government's primary offices on Hong Kong policy - has taken several actions to interfere in Hong Kong affairs and crackdown on protestors," he said.
The four individuals will be barred from travelling to the US and their assets within the jurisdiction of the US, or in the possession or control of US persons will be blocked.
"These actions underscore US resolve to hold accountable key figures that are actively eviscerating the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and undermining Hong Kong's autonomy. The United States calls on Beijing to abide by international commitments it made in the Sino - British Joint Declaration, a UN-registered treaty," said Pompeo.
Furthermore, Pompeo took to Twitter, saying: "Today we are taking action against four Chinese and Hong Kong-based officials in connection with policies and actions that have undermined Hong Kong's autonomy, eroded the rule of law, and stifled dissent through politically motivated arrests."
The national security law imposed by Beijing on Hong Kong criminalises any act of secession (breaking away from China), subversion (undermining the power or authority of the central government), terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces, with punishments of up to life in prison. It came into effect from July 1. (ANI)