US warns China of additional sanctions for 'flagrantly violating' Hong Kong's autonomy

WION Web Team
Washington, United States Updated: Nov 12, 2020, 11:38 AM(IST)

In this file photo, Chinese President Xi Jinping can be seen along with Hong Kong police and press Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The statement came in response to the ousting of four of Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers by the city's pro-Beijing authorities

The United States on Wednesday warned of additional sanctions against China, which it said "flagrantly violated" Hong Kong's autonomy after the ousting of four pro-democracy lawmakers.

Robert O'Brien, US national security adviser said "Beijing's recent actions disqualifying pro-democracy legislators from Hong Kong's Legislative Council leave no doubt that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has flagrantly violated its international commitments."

He added that the United States would continue "to identify and sanction those responsible for extinguishing Hong Kong's freedom."

The statement came in response to the ousting of four of Hong Kong's pro-democracy lawmakers by the city's pro-Beijing authorities.

Also read: Hong Kong pro-democracy lawmakers resign en masse to protest expulsion of four colleagues

The United States on Monday had imposed sanctions on four more officials accused of curbing freedoms in Hong Kong while vowing accountability over China's clampdown in the city.

Edwina Lau, head of the National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police Force, was among the officials who will be barred from traveling to the United States and whose US-based assets, if any, will be frozen.

Also Read | Hong Kong ousts four pro-democracy lawmakers for 'endangering security'

Hong Kong's other pro-democracy lawmakers reacted by saying they would all quit in protest, reducing the semi-autonomous city's once-feisty legislature to a gathering of Chinese loyalists.

Germany, the holder of the European Union's rotating presidency, has also criticised China for the dismissal of several pro-democracy opposition lawmakers from the city assembly in Hong Kong.

A foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday the decision to remove four opposition members of Hong Kong's legislative council was the latest step of a "deeply worrying" trend which was aimed at undermining pluralism and freedom of expression.

"The citizens of Hong Kong have the right to free and fair elections and to the freedoms and rights guaranteed in the Basic Law," the German Foreign Ministry spokesman said.

Those rights have to be respected and Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy must be preserved, the spokesman said, adding that China had made an international commitment to do so.

The foreign ministry spokesman urged authorities to quickly set a new date for the postponed elections of the Asian financial hub's legislative council as quickly as possible.

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