Beijing's office in Hong Kong on Saturday slammed the United States saying that the sanctions imposed on senior officials including Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam were nothing but "clowning actions". It further said that such sanctions imposed by the United States would not threaten or intimidate Chinese people.
The comments from the Beijing's top representative office in Hong Kong come after the United States imposed sanctions on Lam and head of China's Liaison Office Luo Huining along with several other current and former officials for their role in crackdowns on political freedom in the region. The United States' decision to impose sanctions on Lam and others could further escalate tensions between Washington and Beijing.
China Hits Back
Understandably, Hong Kong has been offended by United States' decision to impose sanction on Lam and 10 other former and current officials. The Hong Kong government on Saturday described the sanction by United States as "shameless and despicable" and that it represented "blatant and barbaric" interference in China's internal affairs.
China has time and again said that the United Sates has been interfering in its internal matters. "The unscrupulous intentions of the U.S. politicians to support the anti-China chaos in Hong Kong have been revealed, and their clowning actions are really ridiculous," the Liaison Office said in a statement.
The office further said that despite the continuing threats and intimidation, Chinese people won't get frightened. Besides Lam and Huining, the sanctions target Hong Kong police commissioner Chris Tang and his predecessor Stephen Lo; John Lee, Hong Kong's secretary of security, and Teresa Cheng, the justice secretary.
China Turns a Deaf Ear
Hong Kong has not only slammed the United States but also has justified its actions. Luo, the most senior politician from the mainland based in Hong Kong, said that the sanctions prove that he has been doing exactly what has been he has been asked to in order to serve his country and Hong Kong. Also, Police Chief Tang told that he has been doing his duties with responsibility and the US sanctions are meaningless.
The decision by the United States to sanction Lam and others is the latest move in response to China's imposition of a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong that criminalizes secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference. Lam has been defending the controversial law as a "crucial step to ending chaos and violence that has occurred over the past few months."
The US Treasury Department had criticized Lam and held her responsible for "implementing Beijing's policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes." The latest move is likely to further escalate tensions between the world's two largest economies. China has time and again warned the United States saying that Washington has been unnecessarily interfering in its internal affairs.
In fact, President Donald Trump last month signed an executive order stripping Hong Kong of its special status under US law igniting further tensions between Washington and Beijing. He also signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which previously passed Congress and mandates sanctions on entities that violate China's obligations under the treaty which passed the semi-autonomous territory from British control to China.