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Today’s arrests of more than 50 politicians and pro-democracy advocates by local authorities in Hong Kong is an outrage, and a reminder of the Chinese Communist Party’s contempt for its own people and the rule of law. Those arrested are guilty of nothing but exercising the democratic rights promised to them by treaty, and due to them through virtue of their humanity. They should be released immediately and unconditionally.

The United States will not stand idly by while the people of Hong Kong suffer under Communist oppression. The United States will consider sanctions and other restrictions on any and all individuals and entities involved in executing this assault on the Hong Kong people, explore restrictions against the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in the United States, and take additional immediate actions against officials who have undermined Hong Kong’s democratic processes. I am also appalled by the news of the arrest of an American citizen as part of this campaign of political repression. Let me be clear: The United States will not tolerate the arbitrary detention or harassment of U.S. citizens.

The United States supports the Hong Kong people and all who yearn for freedom. In that vein, I am pleased to announce the upcoming visit of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft to Taiwan, a reliable partner and vibrant democracy that has flourished despite CCP efforts to undermine its great success. Taiwan shows what a free China could achieve.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future