The United States is preparing to impose sanctions on at least a dozen Chinese authorities for their alleged role in Beijing’s disqualification of Hong Kong-elected opposition parliamentarians, according to three sources consulted, including a senior US official familiar with The issue.
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The move, which could come as soon as Monday, will target Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, as President Donald Trump’s Administration maintains pressure on Beijing in its final weeks in office. President-elect Joe Biden takes over on January 20.
The State Department and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment from ..
Up to 14 people, including senior officials in the Chinese Parliament, or National People’s Congress, and CCP members, would likely be targeted by measures such as asset freezes and financial sanctions, two sources said.
The US authority, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said several individuals would be punished. A person familiar with the matter said authorities from Hong Kong as well as the mainland were likely to be in the group. The sources did not provide the names or titles of the people targeted. Two sources warned that the announcement could be delayed until later in the week.
China’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Beijing has previously condemned US sanctions related to Hong Kong, calling them interference in China’s internal affairs.
Asia’s stock markets erased early session gains for fear the move could signal further deterioration in relations between the world’s two largest economies.
“One thing that has worried the market is that Trump seeks some retaliation for China before leaving the presidency. So this news speaks to that fear, “said Kyle Rodda, market strategist at IG Markets in Melbourne.
Chinese financial securities traded on the Hong Kong stock exchange fell 2.3% in morning trading, which would be their biggest drop in six months on fears that sanctions will be extended to banks.