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US plans to sanction more China officials over Hong Kong

The United States is preparing to impose sanctions on at least a dozen Chinese officials over their alleged role in Beijing’s disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong, the Reuters news agency reported on Monday, citing three sources, including a US official familiar with the matter.

The move, which could come as soon as Monday, will go after officials from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as President Donald Trump’s administration maintains pressure on Beijing in his final weeks in office. President-elect Joe Biden takes over on January 20.

The State Department and the White House did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

As many as 14 people, including officials of China’s parliament, or National People’s Congress and members of the CCP, would probably be affected by measures such as asset freezes and financial sanctions, two sources said.

The US official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said multiple individuals would be sanctioned. A person familiar with the matter said the group would probably include officials from Hong Kong as well as the mainland. The sources did not provide names or positions of those being singled out for sanctions. Two sources cautioned that an announcement could still be delayed until later in the week.

Hong Kong’s government last month expelled four opposition members from its legislature after China’s parliament gave city authorities new powers to curb dissent. The move triggered the mass resignation of pro-democracy opposition legislators in the Chinese-controlled territory.

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