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Trump Admin To Restrict Visas To CCP Officials ‘eviscerating Hong Kong’s freedoms’

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday a plan to restrict visas to current and former Chinese Communist Party officials who “undermined” Hong Kong’s autonomy. Additionally, Pompeo said the families of such officials could also be subject to the punishment.

The CCP has stepped up efforts to undermine Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy by announcing Beijing’s authority to ‘supervise’ Hong Kong’s governance, accusing at least one member of Hong Kong’s Legislative Council of misconduct, and moving to unilaterally and arbitrarily impose national security legislation on Hong Kong,” Pompeo said in his remarks.

Pompeo’s announcement comes as Beijing inches closer to passing a national security law handing over significant control to the Chinese Communist Party. However, the move would be a violation of the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, Pompeo argued, under which the British government gave Beijing back control over Hong Kong, but promised to allow its autonomy.

Pompeo added, “Beijing’s continued actions undermine its commitments and obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration to respect Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy.  At the same time, Beijing continues to undermine human rights and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong by putting pressure on local authorities to arrest pro-democracy activists and disqualify pro-democracy electoral candidates.”

 

“The United States calls on China to honor its commitments and obligations in the Sino-British Joint Declaration – namely that Hong Kong will ‘enjoy a high degree of autonomy’ and that human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly, will be protected by law and respected by governing authorities in Hong Kong,” Pompeo said.

“Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy and the full implementation of the Sino-British Joint Declaration, as well as respect for human rights, are of fundamental importance. The United States will continue to review its authorities to respond to these concerns.”

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China

Analysis: Biden unlikely to sanction Iran’s oil exports, gas prices ‘critical during an election year’

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Analysts say President Joe Biden is unlikely to “prompt dramatic sanctions action on Iran’s oil exports” due to “worries about boosting oil prices and angering top buyer China” according to Reuters.

Speaking to Fox News on Sunday, House Republican Representative Steve Scalise, said the administration had made it easier for Iran to sell its oil, generating revenues that were being used to “go fund terrorist activity.”

The Biden administration has maintained for months that among its primary goals is to keep the Gaza conflict between terror group Hamas and Israel from turning into a wider regional war. However, House Republican leaders accused President Joe Biden of failing to enforce existing measures and said they would take up this week a series of bills to sharpen sanctions on Iran.

Kimberly Donovan, a sanctions and anti-money laundering expert at the Atlantic Council, said that oil-related sanctions have not been strictly enforced in the past couple of years.

“I would not expect the administration to tighten enforcement in response to Iran’s missile and drone attacks against Israel over the weekend, mainly for concerns (that) could lead to increases in oil prices,” she said.

“The price of oil and ultimately the prices of gas at the pump become critical during an election year.”
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