Chairs and House CCP Select Committee Leadership Seek Sanctions for Hong Kong Officials Involved in Bounties

(Washington)—Representative Christopher Smith (R-NJ) and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), the Chair and Cochair, respectively of the bipartisan and bicameral Congressional-Executive Commission on China, released today a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken asking that he impose sanctions on the Hong Kong and People’s Republic of China officials responsible for the bounties placed on overseas activists using the authorities available under the Hong Kong Autonomy Act and the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. The Chairs were joined by the Chair and Ranking Member of the House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party, Representative Mike Gallagher (R-WI) and Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) in making this request.

Background: The Chairs have urged the Biden Administration to sanction judges and prosecutors for their role in the arbitrary detention of Hong Kong democracy and rights activists, particularly in National Security Law cases. The last sanctions imposed by the Administration on Hong Kong officials was in January of 2021. 

The Chairs are also lead sponsors of two bipartisan bills to address efforts by the Hong Kong and PRC governments to demolish the democratic freedoms guaranteed to the Hong Kong people by international treaty:

The Transnational Repression Policy Act (S. 831 / H.R. 3654) which would give the Administration additional tools to hold foreign governments and individuals accountable when they stalk, intimidate, or assault U.S. citizens and residents.

The Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office Certification Act (H.R. 1103 / S. 490) which would give the President the authority to strip the immunities and privileges granted to the three Hong Kong government diplomatic outposts in the United States, which reportedly engage in the surveillance of Hong Kong democracy advocates in the United States. 

The signed letter can be found here and below