US to restrict visas for ‘multiple’ Hong Kong officials

WASHINGTON: The United States announced on Friday (Mar 28) that it was “taking steps” to put fresh visa curbs on Hong Kong officials responsible for cracking down on rights in the Chinese city, days after a new national security law came into force.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that Beijing has “continued to take actions against Hong Kong’s promised high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and rights and freedoms” over the past year.

This crackdown, he said, includes the recent passage of “Article 23“, a national security law targeting treason, insurrection, espionage and theft of state secrets, among other crimes.

In response to “intensifying repression” and restrictions on “civil society, media, and dissenting voices”, the State Department “is taking steps to impose new visa restrictions on multiple Hong Kong officials”, the statement said.

Blinken did not elaborate on the visa measures to be taken or the officials to be targeted.

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