US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday imposed sanctions on three of his major targets — China, Iran and Cuba — in a last-minute push aimed partially at boxing in President-elect Joe Biden.
Five days earlier than he turns in his keys on the State Department, Pompeo vowed to punish China over its clampdown in Hong Kong — a stance backed by Biden — however moved additional away from Biden’s aim of easing tensions with Iran and Cuba.
Pompeo condemned as “appalling” the huge operation on January 6 in Hong Kong by which China rounded up 55 individuals together with an American lawyer, John Clancey.
“We condemn PRC actions that erode Hong Kong’s freedoms and democratic processes and will continue to use all tools at our disposable to hold those responsible to account,” Pompeo mentioned, referring to the People’s Republic of China.
President Donald Trump’s outgoing administration slapped sanctions on six individuals over the detentions together with Tam Yiu-Chung, Hong Kong’s sole delegate to China’s high lawmaking physique, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.
It earlier took motion towards Hong Kong’s high chief, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, who acknowledged that because of this she was now not ready to make use of a bank card or maintain a checking account.
China final 12 months pushed by a draconian safety legislation in Hong Kong after widespread and generally violent protests that sought to protect freedoms assured to the monetary hub earlier than Britain handed again the territory in 1997.
Pressure on Cuba, Iran
Antony Blinken, who will seem for a Senate affirmation listening to Tuesday to be Pompeo’s successor, has vowed that the following administration “will stand with the people of Hong Kong and against Beijing’s crackdown on democracy.”
But the Biden administration is anticipated to shift course on Cuba and Iran, on which hardline stances have grow to be factors of pleasure in Trump’s Republican Party, which noticed a lift in help within the essential state of Florida from Cuban-Americans.
On Friday, the Treasury Department mentioned it was imposing sanctions on Cuba’s inside minister, Lazaro Alberto Alvarez Casas, days after Pompeo mentioned he was placing the island again on the US record of state sponsors of terrorism.
Pompeo pointed to the arrest in 2019 of Cuban dissident Jose Daniel Ferrer, who was held in a jail run by the inside ministry “where he reported being beaten, tortured and held in isolation.”
“The Castro regime’s repression of fundamental freedoms requires the condemnation and action of all countries that respect human dignity,” Pompeo mentioned, referring to former presidents Fidel and Raul Castro.
Biden has promised to concentrate to human rights in Cuba but additionally to convey again a few of former president Barack Obama’s insurance policies to normalize ties, together with by permitting Cuban-Americans to go to and ship cash.
Biden can be desirous to return to a nuclear accord negotiated by Obama with Iran, believing that Trump’s “maximum pressure” coverage that included a sweeping ban on oil gross sales has didn’t curb Tehran on any entrance.
Pompeo introduced contemporary actions Friday on a Chinese metal firm and a UAE-based constructing supplies agency for working with Iran Shipping Lines, which is already underneath US sanctions.
‘Sorrow, anger and pity’
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez denounced the sanctions towards his colleague because the work “of a regime that leaves a legacy of isolation and defeat in foreign policy.”
The US actions are certain to immediate calls of hypocrisy by China because the roundup in Hong Kong got here the identical day as Trump supporters violently rampaged by the US Capitol in an effort to dam the ceremonial certification of Biden’s victory.
Pompeo condemned the violence however has fiercely defended Trump’s file amid rising hypothesis that he’ll search the presidency himself in 2024.
The former Kansas congressman was fiercely criticized this week by the editorial web page of the Kansas City Star which mentioned his tenure had resulted on the planet seeing the United States “with a mixture of sorrow, anger and pity.”
“He has spent the last few months doing his best to wreck the foreign policy of the incoming Joe Biden administration,” the editorial mentioned.
“America will be better when he leaves office. Kansas will be much better if he decides to stay away from his adopted home state forever.”
(This story has not been edited by LiveNews360 employees and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)