Pompeo: US imposes restrictions on Chinese Communist Party leaders undermining Hong Kong autonomy

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced new restrictions against members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Friday, declaring that the U.S. has banned visas for CCP members affiliated with the obstruction of Hong Kong’s autonomy.

“President Trump promised to punish the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials who were responsible for eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms,” Pompeo said in a statement Friday.

The latest announcement comes as China plans to move forward with a security law that would extend Beijing’s reach into the semi-autonomous region.

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China’s National Congress Standing Committee already approved the draft version of legislation that would criminalize succession, subversion of state power, local terrorist activities, and collaborating with foreign or external foreign forces to endanger national security.

China has further made plans to instate a security bureau in Hong Kong that would analyze security situations in the region and safeguard China’s national security interests.

Pompeo said that China has undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy by “announcing Beijing’s authority to “supervise” Hong Kong’s governance.”

Pompeo also said that China has reportedly accused “at least one member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council of misconduct” and has moved to “unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong.”

CHINA TO CREATE CONTROVERSIAL HONG KONG SECURITY BUREAU

Hong Kong enjoys semi-autonomous control in the region due to the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which established sovereignty after the British released Hong Kong from imperial rule and handed it over to China in 1997.

“Beijing continues to undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong by putting pressure on local authorities to arrest pro-democracy activists and disqualify pro-democracy electoral candidates,” Pompeo said in his Friday statement.

The U.S. along with several other nations, including the U.K. have repeatedly condemned China’s attempt to exert security powers in Hong Kong, prompting the U.S.’s latest move to block visas for current and former CCP officials affiliated with undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.

U.S. Senators passed legislation Thursday imposing sanctions on people or companies that back efforts or profit off of China’s efforts to exert security in Hong Kong.

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Pompeo further announced a new partnership with the European Union in order to open U.S.-E.U. dialogue on China, according to a Politico report Thursday.

“The United States calls on China to honor its commitments and obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration – namely that Hong Kong will ‘enjoy a high degree of autonomy’ and that human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, will be protected by law and respected by governing authorities in Hong Kong,” Pompeo concluded on Friday.



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