The Committee for Safeguarding National Security of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on July 6 convened its first meeting, which was attended by all its members. The national security adviser appointed by the Central People's Government also sat in on the meeting. A group photo was taken before the meeting. In the second row, the first from left is Deputy Commissioner of Police (National Security) Edwina Lau, whom the US sanctioned on Monday of this week. Photo: AFP / handout

The United States on Wednesday warned of further sanctions against China, which it said “flagrantly violated” Hong Kong’s autonomy after the ousting of four pro-democracy lawmakers.

“Beijing’s recent actions disqualifying pro-democracy legislators from Hong Kong’s Legislative Council leave no doubt that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has flagrantly violated its international commitments,” said Robert O’Brien, US national security adviser.

He added that the United States would continue “to identify and sanction those responsible for extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom.”

On Monday, the United States imposed sanctions on four more officials accused of curbing freedoms in Hong Kong while vowing accountability over China’s clampdown in the city.

Edwina Lau, head of the National Security Division of the Hong Kong Police Force, was among the officials who will be barred from traveling to the United States and whose US-based assets, if any, will be frozen.

Wednesday’s statement from the US national security adviser in Donald Trump’s outgoing administration came in response to the ousting of four of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers by the city’s pro-Beijing authorities.

Hong Kong’s other pro-democracy lawmakers reacted by saying they would all quit in protest, reducing the semi-autonomous city’s once-feisty legislature to a gathering of Chinese loyalists.