by WorldTribune Staff, May 26, 2020
The Trump administration is expected to slap new sanctions on Chinese officials over the communist government’s move to end Hong Kong’s autonomy.
The list of officials to be sanctioned could include Chinese supreme leader Xi Jinping, John Gizzi reported for Newsmax on May 24, citing Trump administration sources.
On Sunday afternoon, the Chinese-controlled Hong Kong police announced the arrest of 180 pro-democracy demonstrators who were protesting Beijing’s announcement last week that it was instituting a new security law which bans what the communist regime terms “treason, secession, sedition [and] subversion” in Hong Kong.
President Donald Trump is expected to announce the new sanctions within the next two weeks, the report said.
Related: ‘Death knell’: Xi Jinping lowers boom on Hong Kong in wake of coronavirus crisis, May 24, 2020
“Should Xi be singled out for punishment, he would face bans on travel or any financial transactions with the U.S.,” Gizzi noted. “These sanctions, which are contained in the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act of 2019 (H.R. 3289), are based on the Magnitsky Act — the 2012 measure designed to punish Russian officials for the mysterious death of Russian tax accountant Sergei Magnitsky in 2009.”
Rep. Chris Smith, New Jersey Republican and senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told Newsmax: “At a minimum, no-one deserves Magnitsky sanctions more than Xi — for his brutality, pervasive use of torture and persecution of believers.”
Smith, the primary author of the Hong Kong Human Rights legislation signed by Trump last year, also condemned Xi for “a willful and gross negligence in not conveying accurate and timely virus information to an all-too-malleable World Health Organization director-general that enabled a pandemic.”
“Xi should be at the Hague for crimes against humanity,” Smith added.
“The Obama administration applied Magnitsky sanctions to 16 Russian officials and the Trump administration added five others to the list of those barred from travel to and financial transactions with the U.S.,” Gizzi noted.