World U.S. to sanction Chinese officials and warn companies over Hong Kong -sources
Washington is warning American firms about doing business in Hong Kong
The US government is preparing to warn American companies about the risks of doing business in Hong Kong. © Susan Walsh/AP President Joe Biden speaks during a news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday, July 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) US President Joe Biden on Thursday confirmed reports in various media outlets this week that his administration plans to soon issue an advisory to companies that will caution them of a "deteriorating" situation in the Chinese territory.
By Humeyra Pamuk and David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) -The United States is preparing to impose sanctions on Friday on a number of Chinese officials over Beijing's crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong, as well as a warning to international businesses operating there about deteriorating conditions, two people with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
The sources said the financial sanctions would target seven officials from China's Hong Kong liaison office, the official platform which projects Beijing's influence into the Chinese territory.
China threatens ‘death knell’ for Hong Kong dissidents as US sanctions officials
Secretary of State Antony Blinken blacklisted seven Chinese officials for their role in the crackdown on Hong Kong, as the mainland communist regime vowed to retaliate against dissidents and the United States. © Provided by Washington Examiner “Beijing has chipped away at Hong Kong’s reputation of accountable, transparent governance and respect for individual freedoms and has broken its promise to leave Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy unchanged for 50 years,” Blinken said Friday.
A separate updated business advisory issued by the State Department would highlight U.S. government concerns about the impact on international companies of Hong Kong's national security law. Critics say Beijing implemented that law last year to facilitate a crackdown on pro-democracy activists and free press.
"Let me talk about the business advisory," U.S. President Joe Biden said when asked about it at a news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Video: China cracks down on Hong Kong’s pro-democracy media (MSNBC)
"The situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating. And the Chinese government is not keeping its commitment that it made on how it would deal with Hong Kong, and so it is more of an advisory as to what may happen in Hong Kong. It's as simple as that and as a complicated as that."
Chinese people ordered to think like Xi as Communist Party aims to tighten control
Days after entering its second century, the Chinese Communist Party has set out its priority for the new era -- tightening ideological control over 1.4 billion Chinese people. © Kevin Frayer/Getty Images Chinese President Xi Jinping appears on a large screen during a dance performance at a mass gala marking the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party in Beijing. This week, the party released a new guideline on ideological and political work, which targets not only its members but also "all of society." Under President Xi Jinping, the party has waged its toughest ideological crackdown in decades.
The moves, certain to anger Beijing, mark the Biden administration's latest effort to hold the Chinese government accountable for what Washington calls an erosion of rule of law in the former British colony that returned to Chinese control in 1997.
Both people, who asked not to be named, said the Hong Kong measures were still subject to change. One of the sources said the White House was also reviewing a possible executive order on immigration from Hong Kong, but that it was still not certain to be implemented.
The U.S. Treasury Department has declined to comment on the issue following media reports this week about possible new sanctions.
"We know that a healthy business community relies on the rule of law, which the national security law that applies to Hong Kong continues to undermine," State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday when asked about the issue.
U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is preparing a visit to Japan, South Korea and Mongolia next week. The State Department's announcement of her trip made no mention of any stop in China, which had been anticipated in foreign policy circles and reported in some media.
The State Department on Tuesday strengthened warnings to businesses about the growing risks of having supply chain and investment links to China's Xinjiang region, citing forced labor and human rights abuses there.
(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk, David Shepardson, Michael Martina and David Brunnstrom; Editing by David Gregorio)
China's already spending billions on overseas investments. Does it need to fund security, too? .
The death of nine Chinese workers in a bus explosion in Pakistan has underscored the security risks attached to China's overseas projects, as anti-China sentiment simmers in countries where official ties with Beijing are strong. © Stringer/AFP/Getty Images Rescue workers and onlookers gather around a wreck after a bus plunged into a ravine following an explosion in Pakistan on July 14. The bus was carrying a convoy of Chinese engineers to the construction site of the Dasu hydropower plant in northern Pakistan when the blast occurred, killing 13 people.