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Ahead of talks in Alaska, US sanctions Chinese and Hong Kong officials

The move comes as US and Chinese officials are set for talks in Alaska with relations between both countries at their lowest amid the pandemic and trade wars under former President Donald Trump.

Published: Mar 17, 2021, 01.25 PM(IST)

 

The Biden administration on Wednesday imposed sanctions on 24 Chinese and Hong Kong officials over Beijing’s ongoing crackdown on the city.

The sanctions were introduced under the Hong Kong autonomy act which was passed by the United States last year.

US secretary of state Antony Blinken said: “Foreign financial institutions that knowingly conduct significant transactions with the individuals listed in today’s report are now subject to sanctions.”

The officials mostly included China’s Communist Party leaders including senior national security police officers in Hong Kong.

Blinken said China had “unilaterally” undermined Hong Kong’s electoral system.

“This action further undermines the high degree of autonomy promised to people in Hong Kong and denies Hong Kongers a voice in their own governance,” Blinken said.

The move comes as US and Chinese officials are set for talks in Alaska with relations between both countries at their lowest amid the pandemic and trade wars under former President Donald Trump.

Blinken had said that the US was going to “lay out in very clear terms” to Chinese officials on “some of the concerns that we have about the actions they’re taking”.

Blinken and US National Security Adviser(NSA) Jake Sullivan will meet China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi and State Councilor Wang Yi in Alaska in a few hours even as the US secretary of state had pledged to push back against Beijing’s “coercion and aggression” during his Tokyo visit.

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