Govt hits out at 'insane, shameless' US sanctions - RTHK
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Govt hits out at 'insane, shameless' US sanctions

2021-01-16 HKT 11:47
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  • The government said it was alarmed by suggestions that people arrested under the security law should be released. File image: Shutterstock
    The government said it was alarmed by suggestions that people arrested under the security law should be released. File image: Shutterstock
The Hong Kong government on Saturday reacted angrily to what it dubbed an "insane, shameless and despicable" decision by the outgoing US administration to slap "so-called" sanctions on six SAR and mainland officials.

The US State Department announced late on Friday that the SAR's sole deputy to the National People's Congress Standing Committee, Tam Yiu-chung, three police officers and two senior Beijing officials would be hit with sanctions. It follows the arrest of more than 50 pro-democracy figures on suspicion of breaching the Basic Law earlier this month.

In a statement, the SAR administration said it sternly denounced the "coercive measures", which it described as the latest US attempt to intervene in China's internal affairs and obstruct Hong Kong's efforts to safeguard national security.

Since the law's implementation in June, "the US Government has exploited every incident and excuse to make slandering remarks about the National Security Law and attack the PRC and the HKSAR authorities in their dutiful, faithful and lawful implementation of the National Security Law," a spokesman said.

"We could not help but suspect that the National Security Law has touched a nerve of those foreign or external forces," the spokesman added.

The government said the US Congress and the White House had made successive laws and taken sweeping actions "under the pretext of human rights, democracy and autonomy".

"With recent events in the United States Capitol, it should be obvious to and resented by many people, locally and around the world, that the US acts are displaying double standards and hypocrisy, let alone blatantly breaching international laws and basic norms governing international relations," the spokesman added.

The spokesman said that Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who was sanctioned herself earlier, described the move as "totally illegitimate" and a violation of established principles of international law.

"It will not achieve its objective of implicit subjugation. I and my colleagues are discharging an honourable duty to prevent, stop and punish in accordance with the law acts and activities endangering national security. We will not be intimidated," the spokesman said.

The government said it was particularly "alarmed "by a US call for the release of people arrested under the law. It would "fully support" Beijing in "adopting appropriate counter-measures".

Earlier, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said the six sanctioned were associated with "developing, adopting, or implementing the National Security Law".

As well as Tam, they include three National Security Division police officers, You Quan, vice chairman of Beijing's Central Leading Group on Hong Kong and Macau Affairs, and Sun Qingye, deputy director of the central government's national security office in Hong Kong.

The politicians and activists arrested were released on bail and have not been charged.