Earlier this month, the US Treasury Department announced that it was freezing the US-based assets of Lam and 10 other senior officials in Hong Kong, also criminalizing any financial transactions with them.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed in a statement on August 7 that Lam was sanctioned because she “is directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes.”
The US has been angered by the enactment of a uniform national security law in Hong Kong. Washington has ended the special commercial treatment of the semi-autonomous Chinese city over the issue.
Lam said on Tuesday that the targeted sanctions against her didn’t bother her.
“Despite some inconvenience in my personal affairs, it is nothing I would take to heart,” the leader of Hong Kong said. “We will continue to do what is right for the country and for Hong Kong.”
Hong Kong to file complaint against US with WTO
Elsewhere in her remarks, Lam said Hong Kong would file a complaint against Washington with the World Trade Organization (WTO) about the United States’ decision that goods made in the city and bound for export to the US must be labeled as made in China after September 25.
She stressed that Hong Kong and China were separate WTO members.
The uniform national security law was enacted in Hong Kong in late June. The law criminalizes sedition, secession, and subversion against the mainland and allows Chinese national security institutions to operate in the city for the first time since 1997, when Hong Kong returned from British to Chinese rule.
Opponents complain that the new law would be a blow to the territory’s autonomy and civil liberties, but Beijing has assured that the legislation would only target a minority of individuals who disregard law and order in Hong Kong.
The Chinese city was rocked by violent riots last year over a now-shelved extradition bill.