US-China relations further strained by Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang

The Millennial Source
5 min readDec 29, 2020

This appeared in The Millennial Source

Tensions have escalated between the two global superpowers, leading to a trade war and an exchange of sanctions that have had a significant effect on the economies of both countries.

Relations between the United States and China have declined drastically during the Trump era, largely due to Beijing’s actions with regard to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Xinjiang.

The human rights issues that have been raised as a result of these actions have escalated tensions between the two global superpowers, leading to a trade war and an exchange of sanctions that have had a significant effect on the economies of both countries.

Hong Kong

In recent months, the US has placed sanctions on Chinese officials tied to the suppression of pro-democracy protests that began in Hong Kong in March 2019. The protests were a response to the introduction of the “Fugitive Offenders” amendment bill, which would have allowed extradition to countries that Hong Kong did not previously have extradition agreements with, namely mainland China.

The first round of sanctions this past August targeted 11 individuals for “undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and restricting the freedom of expression or assembly of the citizens of Hong Kong,” according to a press release for the Department of the Treasury.

The imposed sanctions signify, among other things, that American banks are prohibited from doing any business with the sanctioned individuals.

Those sanctioned were all officials connected to the suppression of pro-democracy demonstrators, including current and former commissioners of the Hong Kong Police Force and Secretaries for Security and Justice for Hong Kong.

The first wave also included Carrie Lam, the Chief Executive of the city of Hong Kong. As a result, Lam has reportedly been paid entirely in cash by the Chinese government since the sanctions were implemented. This was seen by many as a testament to the US’ control over the global economy.

The second round of sanctions was issued on December 7 and included 14 members of the standing committee of China’s National People’s…

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