US President-elect Joe Biden’s incoming national security adviser Jake Sullivan is “deeply concerned” about the continuing arrests and the imprisonment of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong police arrested eight more activists on Tuesday over an anti-government protest in July, the latest move by authorities in a relentless crackdown on opposition forces in the Chinese-ruled, Asian financial hub.
“We stand united with our allies and partners against China’s assault on Hong Kong’s freedoms – and to help those persecuted find safe haven,” Sullivan said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Democracy activists say conditions have worsened in the former British colony since China imposed security legislation in June, making anything Beijing regards as subversion, secession, terrorism or colluding with foreign forces punishable by up to life in prison.
China’s new law have raised alarm in the West. The United States has imposed a series of sanctions on senior officials from Hong Kong and China deemed responsible for Beijing’s crackdown in the territory.
Hong Kong is expected to be one of Biden’s thorniest challenges with China, with relations between Washington and Beijing at the lowest point in decades over an array of disputes.