The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on Chinese language officers in response to the crackdown on the pro-democracy motion in Hong Kong, which continued final week with the arrest of politicians and activists.

The state division sanctions goal two Chinese language Communist get together officers concerned in setting Hong Kong coverage, along with a pro-Beijing legislator within the territory and three Hong Kong safety officers within the police power.

The sanctions are the most recent in a string of actions that President Donald Trump has taken in opposition to China in his last weeks in workplace, starting from safety threats to considerations about focusing on democracy activists in Hong Kong following Beijing’s imposition of a draconian nationwide safety legislation within the territory final 12 months. It comes simply 5 days earlier than Joe Biden can be inaugurated because the forty sixth president of the US.

The state division mentioned the sanctions — which bar People from coping with the focused people — had been in response to Hong Kong’s arrest of more than 50 people on January 6 in “an appalling crackdown on pro-democracy politicians and activists who had been attempting to advance honest and open major elections for Hong Kong’s Legislative Council”.

The arrests marked the most recent escalation within the effort by China — enabled by the pro-Beijing authorities in Hong Kong — to snuff out the pro-democracy motion within the former British colony, a part of Beijing’s effort to erode its semi-autonomous standing.

A number of of the arrested activists had been former lawmakers who had resigned after 4 colleagues had been disqualified in reference to the safety legislation.

The Hong Kong authorities urged on Saturday that Beijing was set to reply to the most recent US transfer with “applicable countermeasures” because it denounced the sanctions as “insane, shameless and despicable” overseas interference.

Hong Kong chief Carrie Lam, who has already been sanctioned by Washington, mentioned her authorities “is not going to be intimidated” by the US motion.

The US state division known as on the Hong Kong authorities to “instantly launch or drop prices” in opposition to individuals who had been focused beneath the nationwide safety legislation, together with John Clancey, 79, a US lawyer and former priest, who turned the first expatriate to be arrested in Hong Kong beneath the legislation.

The administration has been speeding to implement a number of powerful measures in opposition to China earlier than Wednesday’s inauguration of Mr Biden. Some officers need to set up measures that the incoming US president would discover tough to overturn within the face of bipartisan stress from Capitol Hill for an assertive stance in the direction of China.

This week the US put a number of Chinese language corporations, together with China Nationwide Offshore Oil Company and Xiaomi, on separate blacklists. Xiaomi, the largest Chinese language smartphone maker, was positioned on a Pentagon record of corporations with alleged ties to the Chinese language navy, a transfer that prohibits People from investing in any of its securities.

Further reporting by Primrose Riordan in Hong Kong

Comply with Demetri on Twitter