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.

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Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Oct 27, 2020 - Economy & Business

The U.S.-China cold war is coming to financial markets

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Ant Group's $34.5 billion IPO will make the Chinese fintech company the largest listing ever, and its choice to list its shares in Hong Kong and Shanghai rather than New York City marks a pivotal moment that could see the financial industry move towards China.

Why it matters: "This was the first time such a big listing, the largest in human history, was priced outside New York City," Ant Group founder Jack Ma told the Bund Summit in Shanghai Saturday. "We wouldn’t have dared to think about it five years, or even three years ago."

Oct 27, 2020 - World

Senators introduce bipartisan resolution to label Xinjiang abuses "genocide"

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

A cadre of bipartisan senators introduced a resolution on Tuesday to formally label the Chinese government's human rights abuses against Uighur Muslims and other ethnic minorities in the region of Xinjiang as "genocide."

Why it matters: China has faced global backlash for its repression in Xinjiang, where ethnic minorities are subject to surveillance, torture and detention in mass "re-education" camps. But genocide is a serious crime under international law, and the U.S. invokes the formal label only in rare cases.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Oct 26, 2020 - Economy & Business

China's Ant Group preps largest IPO of all time

Photo: Ding Junhao/VCG via Getty Images

Ant Group, the Chinese financial services giant, on Monday disclosed plans to raise up to $34.4 billion in what would be the largest global IPO of all time.

The big picture: Ant Group expects to raise around $17.2 billion in both Shanghai and Hong Kong, likely next week, by seeking to price at HK$80 per share for a potential value of more than $300 billion. Alibaba Group would participate in order to retain its 33% equity position.

Go deeper: Why the Ant IPO matters to geopolitics