The United States has ramped up pressure on China by imposing sanctions on Chinese officials over the Hong Kong crackdown. It also approved a new major arms sale to Taiwan, inviting fresh rounds of rebuke from the unhinged dragon.
The US has imposed sanctions on 14 high-level Chinese officials over allegations that they have undermined democratic processes in Hong Kong.
The sanctions announced by the state and treasury departments against members on the Chinese Parliament’s standing committee come as the administration stepped up punitive measures against the dragon.
The sanctions freeze any assets the 14 targets may have in US jurisdictions and bar them and their families from traveling to the country.
Only last week, the administration further restricted visa access for Chinese Communist Party officials as part of a campaign that has also seen penalties imposed on China for its actions in western Xinjiang province, Tibet, Taiwan and the South China Sea.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “Our actions today underscore that the United States will continue to work with our allies and partners to hold Beijing accountable for undermining Hong Kong’s promised autonomy.”
He added: “The United States again urges Beijing to abide by its international commitments and to heed the voices of many countries, which have condemned its actions.”
Notably, President Donald Trump had made a statement regarding the same in his speech at the UN assembly earlier this year, saying: “The world fully expects that the Chinese government will honour its binding treaty made with the British and registered with the United Nations, in which China commits to protect Hong Kong’s freedom, legal system and democratic ways of life.”
He further added: “How China chooses to handle the situation will say a great deal about its role in the world in the future. We are all counting on President Xi (Jinping) as a great leader.”
Nod for Taiwan arms sale
In an attempt to boost Taiwan’s defence, the US has approved a $280m sale to Taiwan of advanced military communications equipment.
In a statement, the US said it approved the sale to “help improve the security of the recipient and assist in maintaining political stability, military balance, economic and progress in the region” and to “contribute to the recipient’s goal to modernise its military communication’s capability in support of their mission and operational needs”.
The move is sure to draw a firm lambasting from China, which regards Taiwan as a renegade province.
Stance on Uighur Muslims
The US, along with several other nations, has called on China to respect the human rights of its Uighur Muslim minority.
Uighur Muslims are a Turkic minority ethnic group originating from central and east Asia. It has been widely publicised that their human rights are crushed by China and that they were sent to “re-education camps” by the communist regime in Beijing.
Under the Trump administration, relations between the US and China have deteriorated as the two have clashed over trade, espionage claims and coronavirus, among other issues.
The US national security and defence strategies pinpoint China as the most significant threat to its global position.