While the names or positions of any of the potential targets weren’t immediately known, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was expected to sign off on a list that included high-ranking officials.(AP)
The US is preparing to sanction at least a dozen more Chinese officials over their role in the recent disqualification of Hong Kong legislators, according to two people familiar with the plans.
The latest round of sanctions over Hong Kong could be announced as soon as Monday, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the measures haven’t been formally announced. The move comes as President Donald Trump continues to pile pressure on China’s Xi Jinping and the ruling Communist Party in his final weeks in office.
While the names or positions of any of the potential targets weren’t immediately known, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo was expected to sign off on a list that included high-ranking officials. The Trump administration had previously declined to sanction any members of the Politburo’s supreme Standing Committee.
Also read | US raises concerns over CCP’s threat to American national security
As many as 14 people were expected to be impacted, Reuters, which first reported the sanctions, said separately.
Hong Kong has continued to be rocked by political upheaval in recent weeks. Last month, China passed a resolution allowing the disqualification of Hong Kong lawmakers who weren’t deemed sufficiently loyal — prompting opposition legislators to resign en masse.
Their departure fueled concern about Hong Kong’s autonomy from Beijing in the wake of China-drafted national security legislation imposed on the former British colony in June. Prominent local activist Joshua Wong was also sentenced to more than a year in prison last week for leading a 2019 protest outside police headquarters, the latest in a series of moves by Chinese and local officials to clamp down on the city’s battered opposition.