On Thursday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo threatened sanctions against individuals and organizations involved in the arrest of dozens of democracy figures in Hong Kong and expressed his anger over the fact that an American was among those gathered.
Pompeo said the 53 people arrested on Wednesday “should be released immediately and unconditionally”.
“The United States will not stand still while the people of Hong Kong suffer from communist oppression,” Pompeo said in a statement late in the evening after a day of political violence in Washington.
“The United States will consider sanctions and other restrictions on all individuals and entities involved in carrying out this attack on the Hong Kong people.”
Pompeo, which lasts for two weeks, said the United States would also “explore restrictions” on the financial hub’s Commercial Representative Office in Washington.
In an operation with 1,000 officials, Hong Kong police arrested the “subversion” activists in an escalation of Beijing’s introduction of a tough security law in the wake of large and sometimes violent democracy protests in 2019.
Pompeo, a fierce critic of Beijing, said he was “appalled” by the arrest of John Clancey, a lawyer working for a company known for raising human rights issues.
“Let me be clear: the United States will not tolerate arbitrary detention or harassment of American citizens,” he said.
Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said Pompeo’s statement was “contrary to the standards of international relations” and called on the Secretary of State to “stop interfering in China’s internal affairs”.
“For a period of time, we have seen a minority of anti-China politicians in the Trump administration continue to carry out their last madness, without using their remaining time to deliberately undermine China-US relations and serve their personal political interests,” he said. hon. “This kind of move goes against the trend of history and (…) will surely be punished by history.”
Pompeo also announced that Kelly Craft, the US ambassador to the UN, would soon travel to Taiwan, calling the island “a reliable partner and vibrant democracy that has flourished despite the CCP’s efforts to undermine its great success.”
“Taiwan shows what a free China could achieve,” he added.
The outgoing Trump administration has sent a lot of high-level diplomatic delegations to Taiwan over the past year when it clashes with China over trade, security and human rights.
No date was given for Crafts’ next visit.