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Hong Kong, China Jeer at US Sanctions  08/08 10:13

   Hong Kong's leader and China's top representative in the city took pot shots 
at the United States on Saturday after the Trump administration sanctioned them 
and nine other officials for allegedly cracking down on freedom and undermining 
the local autonomy of the former British colony.

   HONG KONG (AP) -- Hong Kong's leader and China's top representative in the 
city took pot shots at the United States on Saturday after the Trump 
administration sanctioned them and nine other officials for allegedly cracking 
down on freedom and undermining the local autonomy of the former British colony.

   Chief Executive Carrie Lam took to Facebook to say that the U.S. got her 
address wrong, listing the official address of her chief deputy instead. She 
noted that she was the deputy when she applied for her U.S. visa in 2016.

   "By the way, my entry visa to the U.S. is valid until 2026. Since I have no 
desire to visit this country, it looks like I can take the initiative to cancel 
it," Lam said.

   The sanctions, announced Friday by the U.S. Treasury Department, block all 
property or other assets that the individuals have within U.S. jurisdiction.

   Luo Huining, the director of the central government's liaison office in Hong 
Kong, said being included on the list shows that he has done what he should for 
the city and his country.

   "I don't have a penny of assets abroad. Isn't it in vain to impose 
'sanctions'? Of course, I can also send 100 U.S. dollars to Mr. Trump for 
freezing," he said in a statement on the office's website.

   Hong Kong Commerce Secretary Edward Yau, who wasn't sanctioned, called the 
sanctions "unreasonable and barbarous" and said they would harm U.S. interests 
in the city, an Asian financial and shipping hub.

   Hong Kong has long enjoyed civil liberties not seen in mainland China 
because it is governed under a so-called "one country, two systems" principle 
in place since it reverted to Chinese rule in 1997.

   However, Beijing imposed a national security law on Hong Kong at the end of 
June, following months of anti-government protests last year.

   The new law prohibits what Beijing views as secessionist, subversive or 
terrorist activities or what it sees as foreign intervention in Hong Kong's 
internal affairs. Police now have sweeping powers to conduct searches without 
warrants and order internet service providers and platforms to remove messages 
deemed to be in violation of the legislation.

   Critics see the law as Beijing's boldest move yet to erase the divide 
between Hong Kong's Western-style system and the mainland's authoritarian way 
of governing.

   "The recent imposition of draconian national security legislation on Hong 
Kong has not only undermined Hong Kong's autonomy, it has also infringed on the 
rights of people in Hong Kong," the Treasury Department said.

   The Hong Kong government accused the U.S. of using Hong Kong as a pawn to 
create trouble in the China-U.S. relationship, calling the sanctions "blatant 
and barbaric interference" in China's internal affairs.

   It said that while national security is under the purview of the central 
government in any country, the new law authorizes local authorities in Hong 
Kong to be its main enforcer and specifies that human rights will be protected.

   "These legal provisions, coupled with the rule of law and an independent 
judiciary in Hong Kong, are clearly ignored by relevant U.S. officials who have 
chosen to make unsubstantiated and sweeping comments to serve their own 
interest," a government statement said.

   "We will not be intimidated," it said.

 
 
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