The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said the US will not stand by while the people of Hong Kong suffer, what he called, "brutal oppression at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party or its enablers."
He made the the comment in a tweet after the US imposed sanctions on the Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other top Hong Kong and mainland officials. The move freezes their assets and prohibits them from carrying out any kind of business in the country, in response to Beijing's imposition of the national security law in the SAR.
As well as Carrie Lam, the others hit with sanctions include Police Commissioner Chris Tang, his predecessor Stephen Lo, Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng and Security Secretary John Lee.
Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office director Xia Baolong, and his deputies Zhang Xiaoming and Luo Huining are named, along with the director of the new Office for Safeguarding National Security, Zheng Yanxiong, Eric Chan – the secretary general of the Committee for Safeguarding National Security – and Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Erick Tsang.
The US Treasury Department says Lam is directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes, and she and the 10 others are responsible for the degradation of Hong Kong’s autonomy.
A statement on the department's website says the US stands with the people of Hong Kong in their ongoing pursuit of freedom and democracy, and Washington will continue to pursue those who implement such nefarious policies in the SAR.