leaders sanctioned, further escalation between Beijing and Washington

Washington has further intensified its conflict with Beijing by imposing sanctions on eleven Hong Kong leaders, including CEO Carrie Lam. At the same time, radical measures have been taken against the Chinese companies TikTok and WeChat.

The tone is growing between Washington and Beijing, after the United States adopted sanctions against 11 Hong Kong leaders, including CEO Carrie Lam. At the same time, drastic measures have been taken against Chinese digital jewels TikTok and WeChat.

The US government on Friday announced the freezing of assets to Carrie Lam, secretary of security and justice or police chief, accused of trying to restrict the territory’s autonomy and “freedom of speech or meeting” of its residents.

“The United States supports the people of Hong Kong and we will use our tools and our authorities to target those who undermine its autonomy,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

A senior Hong Kong official, Trade Secretary Edward Yau, called the sanctions “wild, disproportionate and unreasonable”. “If the United States unilaterally takes this kind of unreasonable action, it will affect American companies,” he warned.

A little later, the representative office of the Chinese government in Hong Kong also condemned the US sanctions and considered them “barbaric and crude”. “The disappointed intentions of American politicians to support anti-Chinese people and to cause concern in Hong Kong have emerged,” the office said in a statement.

The distance has hardened since June

The US sanctions are a response to China’s adoption in June of national security legislation in the former British colony, which its critics say has resulted in a reduction in unparalleled freedoms since Hong Kong’s handover to China from Britain in 1997.

In retaliation, in mid-July, US President Donald Trump announced the end of the preferential economic regime granted to the United States Autonomous Territory, a major international financial center, and had enacted a law imposing sanctions on Hong Kong and Chinese officials. .

Meanwhile, the climate between the two great powers has deteriorated. Washington accused China of espionage and closed its consulate in Houston, Texas, and China took over the US consulate in Chengdu, southwest China.

The United States has also sided with Beijing in territorial disputes in the South China Sea, accusing it of violating the rights of the Uighur Muslim minority.

But it is in the technical sphere that hardening is most radical. On Thursday, Donald Trump signed a decree banning all transactions “by persons under US jurisdiction” with ByteDance, the Chinese parent company, in the TikTok application.

The US president also adopted a similar decree regarding the WeChat platform, which is owned by the Chinese giant Tencent and is ubiquitous in Chinese life. Donald Trump has called a “national emergency”, the two apps accused of spying on their US users for the Beijing account.

The United States “is carrying out arbitrary political manipulation and repression, which can only lead to its own moral decline and damage its image,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said on Friday. .

With AFP