The United States imposed visa restrictions on Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials in response to the enactment of the National Security Law. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam was named by the US authorities to have undermined Hong Kong’s autonomy. In a recent interview, Lam claimed she was not frightened by the possible sanctions. She had no assets in the US and no interest in going to the US. If a visa could not be granted, she would simply not go there.
Lam said Hong Kong is prone to influences by external forces due to its freedom and openness. She planned to do more practical things for Hong Kong these years, with a focus on enhancing citizens’ understanding of the “One country, two systems” and their rights and freedoms under the Basic Law. Maintaining national security is the most important constitutional duty her government needs to fulfill under the “one country, two systems”.
Concerning the legislative council of Hong Kong, Lam said it was challenging to communicate with the opposition camp. The council had experienced difficulties in passing bills, including the ones closely related to people’s livelihoods. The upcoming elections of the council would be governed based on laws.
Carrie Lam deserves sanctions for undermining democracy and freedoms in Hong Kong. The most notorious deed she has done was writing the unpopular extradition bill and striving to push it through the legislature in 2019. The bill allowed criminal suspects to be extradited to mainland China, where they would face trials in a deeply flawed judicial system. Anyone deemed to threaten the CCP’s ruling could be suppressed or go missing in this way. Because of all the harms, Lam had done to Hong Kong, she is on the sanction list of not only the United States but other countries around the world. British lawmakers are asking for “Magnitsky-style” sanctions against Carrie Lam and other CCP officials over the National Security Law. These sanctions include freezing assets and imposing travel bans2. Lam claimed to have weak ties with the United States and appeared to be calm when facing possible US sanctions. However, her family has British passports and strong ties with the United Kingdom. The possible British sanctions are no doubt bringing chilling effects on her.
It is thrilling to see people who have done evil deeds being brought to justice and getting the punishments they deserve. However, Hong Kong’s fight for freedom and democracy would not succeed by sanctioning a few officials. Carrie Lam is just one of the CCP’s puppets who plays a role in its political show. She has had a good track record in pleasing the CCP by eroding Hong Kong’s autonomy and restricting human rights. However, even if Lam has to step down one day, the CCP could easily replace her with another puppet. Only by eliminating the top officials of the CCP and taking down the party could Hong Kong be liberated. So would the 1.4 billion Chinese people who have been longing for democracy and freedoms in the past 70 years.