Meanwhile, tensions between the U.S. and China are expected to worsen, as Washington sanctioned Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and ten other high-profile officers for their role in crackdowns on political freedom in Hong Kong.
In a statement Friday, the U.S. Treasury Department said that the eleven individuals had implemented policies directly aimed at curbing freedom of expression and assembly, and democratic processes, stressing that they are thus responsible for the degradation of Hong Kong's autonomy.
With the sanctions, all property of the eleven individuals in the United States has been seized, and assets must be reported to the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Hong Kong Commerce Secretary Edward Yau was quick to respond, calling the sanctions disproportionate.
He strongly criticized the move, and warned of retaliation against U.S. businesses in the region.