Nov. 10 (UPI) — The Trump administration has sanctioned 4 extra Chinese language authorities officers for aiding the Asian nation in implementing a draconian new nationwide safety regulation on Hong Kong that has been broadly criticized as being a device to snuff out dissent within the former British colony.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated in an announcement that the 4 folks blacklisted by the State Division and the Treasury on Monday have been focused for his or her connection to China’s implementation of a nationwide safety regulation in July that outlaws secession, sedition, subversion, terrorism and dealing with overseas companies to undermine the nationwide safety of the Individuals’s Republic of China.

The regulation was applied following a yr of mass pro-democracy protests that rocked Hong Kong, and the USA and different Western nations in addition to human rights teams have decried it as being a menace to the area’s autonomy as was promised by China when it was returned to its sovereignty from Britain in 1997.

Pompeo has described the regulation because the “loss of life knell” to Hong Kong’s promised autonomy, and the USA has beforehand sanctioned Chinese language and Hong Kong officers, together with Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s high politician, over the brand new regulation.

In July, President Donald Trump signed laws to punish Chinese language officers with sanctions and to finish preferential commerce therapy for Hong Kong.

Final month, the State Division additionally warned all monetary establishments that they may very well be focused with sanctions for doing enterprise with those that have been blacklisted.

China has responded with retaliatory measures and sanctions of its personal towards U.S. lawmakers and heads of nonprofit organizations whereas repeatedly denouncing the USA for interfering in its inside affairs — accusations the Hong Kong authorities repeated Tuesday.

“That is blatant and grossly outrageous — I might use the phrase barbaric — interference in Hong Kong’s inside affairs, in our motherland’s inside affairs, within the Central Individuals’s Authorities’s inside affairs,” Hong Kong Chief secretary Matthew Cheung advised reporters in a press briefing. “That is completely unreasonable and unacceptable.”

Li Jiangzhou, deputy director of the Workplace for Safeguarding Nationwide Safety; Edwina Lam, head of the Nationwide Safety Division of the Hong Kong Police Pressure; Steve Li Kwai-Wah, senior superintendent of the Hong Kong Police Pressure; and Deng Zhonghua, deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Workplace, have been focused with sanctions on Monday.

“These people might be barred from touring to the USA and their property inside the jurisdiction of the USA or within the possession or management of U.S. individuals might be blocked,” Pompeo stated within the assertion. “These actions underscore U.S. resolve to carry accountable key figures which are actively eviscerating the freedoms of the folks of Hong Kong and undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy.”

Because it has been applied, the regulation has been utilized by Hong Kong police to arrest opposition politicians and activists in addition to civilians who waved pro-Hong Kong independence flags at protests. On Thursday, the Hong Kong Police Pressure launched a hotline for residents to anonymously report those that they consider have damaged the nationwide safety regulation.