US Adds Five Chinese Officials to Sanctions List Over Hong Kong Election

The US released a joint statement with other Five Eyes countries condemning the election

On Monday, the US added five Chinese officials to a sanctions blacklist over Hong Kong’s legislative elections that were held on Sunday.

The officials were sanctioned under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, a piece of legislation that was signed into law in October 2020 by President Trump. The sanctions freeze any US-based assets the officials may have and can potentially target any foreign financial institutions with sanctions for doing business with the officials.

The elections in Hong Kong were the first since China’s National People’s Congress overhauled the city’s electoral system to ensure there were enough Beijing-friendly candidates. The pro-Beijing camp swept the election, and voter turnout was 30.2 percent, the lowest since direct elections were introduced in 1991, according to the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post.

The Five Eyes intelligence alliance, which includes the US, Britain, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, released a joint statement condemning the elections. The G7 and the EU also released statements denouncing the vote.

The Western condemnations ring hollow, considering the people of Hong Kong never had direct democracy until the British were preparing to hand over the city to Beijing. British rule started in 1841, and Hong Kong held its first indirect election in 1985, a year after London and Beijing signed the Sino-British Joint Declaration, which paved the way for the handover.

The election overhaul in Hong Kong came after Beijing enacted the new national security law for the city in 2020. The passage of the security law was largely due to Western interference in Hong Kong. Amid demonstrations that rocked the city in 2019, Hong Kong protest leaders traveled to Washington and urged for US intervention in testimony before Congress.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.