U.S. imposes new visa restrictions on Hong Kong officials over crackdown



The United States announced on Friday that it would impose new visa restrictions on a number of Hong Kong officials over a crackdown on rights and freedoms in the city.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has previously said China has been pursuing Hong Kong’s promised autonomy, democratic institutions and rights, including the recent enactment of a new national security law called “Section 23,” Reuters reported.

“In response, the U.S. State Department announced that it is taking steps to impose new visa restrictions on a number of Hong Kong officials responsible for increasing the repression of rights and freedoms,” Blinken said.

The statement did not specify which officials would be targeted.

In November, Hong Kong criticized a U.S. bill that would impose sanctions on 49 officials, judges and prosecutors involved in national security cases, accusing lawmakers of grandstanding and intimidation.

Officials named in the “Hong Kong Sanctions Law” include Secretary for Justice Lam Mo-po, Commissioner of Police Siu Wai-man, as well as judges Zhang Chunren, Chen Junjie, Chen Zhensheng, Li Lixiong, Tou Yisi and Amanda Woodcock.

The United States has in the past imposed visa restrictions and other sanctions on Hong Kong officials accused of undermining freedoms and announced the end of special economic treatment that Hong Kong has long enjoyed under U.S. law.

It also warned that foreign financial institutions doing business with them would be subject to sanctions.



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By Ali Raza

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