The US Treasury has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong chief executive and other top 10 officials from Hong Kong and China.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the sanctions were imposed to target those damaging Hong Kong’s autonomy.
“The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong”.
Hong Kong’s police commissioner and various political secretaries have been sanctioned.
The US Treasury directly accused Ms. Lam of “implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes”.
It said in a statement, “In 2019, Lam pushed for an update to Hong Kong’s extradition arrangements to allow for extradition to the mainland, setting off a series of massive opposition demonstrations in Hong Kong”.
The move comes after China imposes security law over Hong kong. The US has strongly criticized the law.
US secretary of state Mike Pompeo had called it “Orwellian move” and an assault “on the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong”.
Announcing the sanctions on Friday, Mr. Pompeo said: “The Chinese Communist Party has made clear that Hong Kong will never again enjoy the high degree of autonomy that Beijing itself promised to the Hong Kong people and the United Kingdom for 50 years.
“President Trump has made clear that the United States will, therefore, treat Hong Kong as ‘one country, one system’ and take action against individuals who have crushed the Hong Kong people’s freedoms.”
According to the international news agency, the 11 sanctioned officials will have all property in the US seized and financial assets frozen.
The US has imposed sanctions on Chris Tang, the commissioner of the Hong Kong Police Force, and his predecessor Stephen Lo, who directed the police force until 2019.
“Under [Mr. Lo’s] leadership, over 4,000 protestors were arrested and 1,600 injured in clashes,” the US Treasury said.
Hong Kong’s Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng and Security Secretary John Lee were also sanctioned.
Ms. Lam has said earlier last month about the suggestion of sanctions, “I do not have any assets in the United States nor do I long for moving to the United States.” She had said to media that she would “just laugh it off” if the US sanctioned her.