The US is considering a range of sanctions to punish China for its crackdown on Hong Kong, people familiar with the matter said, as the Trump administration weighs whether to declare the former colony has lost its autonomy from Beijing.
The Treasury Department could impose controls on transactions and freeze assets of Chinese officials and businesses for implementing a new national security law that would curtail the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong citizens.
Other measures under consideration include visa restrictions for Chinese Communist Party officials, according to two of the people.
Inter-agency discussions are ongoing and no decision has been made on whether or how to employ the sanctions, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the moves are still under consideration.
President Donald Trump, asked about the possible sanctions at the White House, said his administration is “doing something now” that he will unveil later this week.
“It’s something you’re going to be hearing about over the next — before the end of the week,” Trump said. “Very powerfully, I think.”
A Treasury Department spokeswoman declined to comment.
China warned that it would retaliate if the US put sanctions on the country or interfered in its affairs.
“If anyone insists on harming China’s interests, China is determined to take all necessary countermeasures,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters on Wednesday.