The US government has imposed sanctions on Hong Kong’s leader Carrie Lam, and 10 other senior Chinese and Hong Kong officials, in response to the crackdown on free speech and political freedoms in the city, the US treasury department said.
The measures are among the most high-profile taken by the US administration in a broad campaign to challenge China at home and internationally, as tensions between the world’s two largest economies escalate sharply.
In addition to Lam, the sanctioned Hong Kong officials include the current and former head of the city’s police force – criticised by protesters for its brutal tactics – and the cabinet secretaries for justice, Teresa Cheng, and security, John Lee Ka-chiu.
From the mainland, targets include Luo Huining, who heads the Hong Kong liaison office and is the most senior Chinese figure in the city, and Zheng Yenxiong, a hardliner appointed to the newly created position of security chief.
“The United States stands with the…