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US President Joe Biden holds a joint press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House on July 15, 2021. Source: Alex Edelman/ABACA via Reuters.
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  • The United States prepares to impose new sanctions against several Chinese officials on Friday over Beijing’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong
  • The sanctions will target seven officials from China’s Hong Kong liaison office, the platform which funnels Beijing’s influence into the Chinese territory
  • Biden’s administration has also raised concerns about the impact of Hong Kong’s national security laws on international companies
  • US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is currently preparing for a visit to Japan, South Korea and Mongolia next week

The United States is set to impose new sanctions against several Chinese officials on Friday over Beijing’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong.

Speaking to Reuters, two sources with knowledge of the matter said the financial sanctions would target seven officials from China’s Hong Kong liaison office, the central platform which funnels Beijing’s influence into the Chinese territory.

A separate updated business advisory will also highlight the US government’s concerns about the impact of Hong Kong’s national security laws on international companies.

“Let me talk about the business advisory,” US President Joe Biden said at a news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

“The situation in Hong Kong is deteriorating. And the Chinese government is not keeping its commitment that it made on how it would deal with Hong Kong, and so it is more of an advisory as to what may happen in Hong Kong. It’s as simple as that and as a complicated as that.”

The two sources, who asked not to be named, said the decisions — which are certain to anger Beijing — are still subject to change. One added that the White House was also reviewing a potential executive order on immigration from Hong Kong, but there is no guarantee it will be implemented.

“We know that a healthy business community relies on the rule of law, which the national security law that applies to Hong Kong continues to undermine,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said on Tuesday.

US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is currently preparing for a visit to Japan, South Korea and Mongolia next week, although an announcement from the State Department made no mention of a stop in China.

The State Department also said on Tuesday that it had strengthened warnings to businesses about the growing risks of having supply chain and investment links to China’s Xinjiang region, citing forced labour and human rights abuses there.

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