U.S. issues sanctions warning to banks over Hong Kong crackdown
The U.S. warned financial institutions doing business with individuals deemed responsible for China’s crackdown in Hong Kong that they could soon face tough sanctions.
In a report to Congress, the State Department named 10 people, including Hong Kong’s chief executive Carrie Lam, all of whom have already been sanctioned, and said within 60 days it would identify financial institutions that conduct significant transactions with them.
It was the latest U.S. response to China’s actions in Hong Kong, including enactment of a new national security law this year that Washington has called an unacceptable breach of China’s “one country, two systems” commitments toward the former British colony.
The State Department report, required under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, comes at a time when relations between the United States and China, the world’s two biggest economies, have plunged to the lowest point in decades in the run-up to President Donald Trump’s Nov. 3 re-election bid.
In August, Washington put sanctions on Lam, the territory’s current and former police chiefs and other top officials for what Washington says is their role in curtailing freedoms in a crackdown on the territory’s pro-democracy movement.
Wednesday’s State Department document did not add any new individuals to the list nor did it name any banks or other financial institutions that might be at risk for penalties.
But the report put the firms on notice that they could be subject to so-called secondary sanctions, including restrictions on U.S. loans, foreign exchange, property transactions, exports and transfers, in addition to measures against their executives.
Senior British and U.S. politicians have recently criticized HSBC and Standard Chartered after the banks backed China’s national security law for the territory.
“The release of this report underscores our ongoing objection to Beijing’s actions that are intentionally designed to erode the freedoms of the people of Hong Kong and impose the CCP’s oppressive policies,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
The U.S. Hong Kong Autonomy Act that Trump signed into law on July 14, required the State Department to list those people deemed responsible for communist-ruled China’s failure to meet its obligations toward Hong Kong within 90 days and which makes them liable for sanctions.
It also requires a list of any financial institutions that knowingly conduct significant financial transactions with such persons no more than 60 days after that.
It allows the U.S. president to impose sanctions on individuals as soon as they are named and calls for sanctions on the financial institutions no later than a year after they are identified.
U.S. District Judge Wendy Beetlestone in Pennsylvania on Friday blocked a U.S. Commerce Department order barring key technical...
Apple shares fell nearly 5% in premarket trading after the world's most valuable public company reported a steep fall in iPhone...
With the presidential election drawing near, a litany of data released this week shows the U.S. economy continues to climb out...
Move sparked by infected resident, who is the sole local patient among three new cases on Thursday.
The success of Beijing’s pandemic response and and the failure of Washington’s seem to suggest authoritarian rule is superior to liberal democracy.
US prosecutors say Alexander Ma accepted thousands in cash for espionage activities and told undercover agent he wanted to see the ‘motherland’ succeed.
The death of Lee Kun-hee has focused attention on the darker aspects of his legacy, and rekindled long-standing calls for reform of family-run conglomerates.
Expected wage rise in 2021 amounts to less than half of the 3.6 per cent average from 2019, as coronavirus forces employer restraint.
The poll by a teachers’ union found a greater proportion of schools held flag-raising ceremonies and sang the national anthem than before.
Ahead of next week’s US presidential election, former American ambassador to China Max Baucus says Joe Biden represents a break...
From November 6, the island nation is also lifting border restrictions for travellers from the Australian state of Victoria as...
Chao Kuang-piu, aged 101, recalls ‘remarkable’ growth of company with just one plane in 1985 into a serious contender to Cathay Pacific, which took it over.
Comments by carrier come after midnight deadline for staff to sign tough deal, but unions warn of backlash from staff in years to come.
While ‘the Great Firewall’ stops much foreign Trump vs Biden coverage from reaching China, social media posts mocking the candidates are available – and popular.
Just six days before the US. election in which trade is a hot topic, Washington struck another blow at the WTO, which US President...
A married couple who are former solicitors created 60 false identities, donned disguises and paid homeless people for their PPS...
Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, has ordered his country’s Department of Justice to pursue a government-wide probe of corruption.
Major celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez can make a killing off a single Instagram post. But stars from reality TV...
Hong Kong should actively participate in the country's 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-25), formulate a corresponding timetable...
Hong Kong teen activist Tony Chung has been charged under a new national security law, just days after he was detained outside the US consulate.