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Photo: Anthony Kwan/Getty Images)

The Treasury Department on Friday placed sanctions on Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam, following months of tension as she has allowed continued overreach by Beijing to subvert Hong Kong's autonomy.

Why it matters: It's the toughest sanction yet imposed on China for its destruction of Hong Kong’s relatively free political system.

  • The Treasury noted sanctions against Lam are due to her "implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes."
  • A group of other top Hong Kong and mainland China officials were also included in the list of sanctions.
  • The sanctions target any U.S. holdings or property owned by the sanctioned individuals or any companies they own, per the announcement.

The big picture: The Trump administration in recent weeks has gone after individuals and entities that human rights advocates have long condemned as complicit in China’s massive human rights violations, including Xinjiang's party secretary and the paramilitary Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps.

Between the lines: The move also comes as the U.S. and China are locked in an ongoing trade dispute — and while President Trump is battling it out over the Chinese-owned app TikTok.

Go deeper

Nov 12, 2020 - World

The China tech selloff pauses

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech stocks rebounded slightly in China after Wednesday’s selloff that had been prompted by new antitrust rules proposed by Chinese regulators.

Why it matters: The regulations could limit the power of China’s biggest tech companies. By the FT’s math, the country’s tech sector lost $290 billion in value in the space of two days.

Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: U.S. ahead of pace on vaccines.
  2. Health: Lessons for trapping the next pandemic.
  3. Tech: "Fludemic" model accurately maps COVID hotspotsVirtual doctor's visits and digital health tools take off.
  4. Politics: Harris breaks tie as Senate proceeds with lengthy debate on COVID relief bill — Republican governor of West Virginia says there's no plan to lift mask mandate.
  5. World: Canada vaccine panel recommends 4 months between doses — In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine its hardly using.
Dave Lawler, author of World
18 mins ago - World

In AstraZeneca spat, EU fights hard for a vaccine its hardly using

Macron, Merkel and European Council President Charles Michel (R) at a summit in October. Photo: Yves Herman/Pool/AFP via Getty

Italy on Thursday blocked the export of 250,000 AstraZeneca doses to Australia, becoming the first EU country to exercise an export ban due to a vaccine shortfall in the bloc.

Why it matters: The controversial step exposes multiple major challenges to distributing vaccines — even among the world’s richest countries.