Pompeo condemns arrests of Hong Kong activists

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has condemned the arrest of 53 pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong, saying that the United States is considering sanctions on those involved in Wednesday's arrests.

In a statement on Wednesday, Pompeo called the arrests an "outrage and a reminder of the Chinese Communist Party's contempt for its own people and the rule of law."

He went on to say, "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."

The 53 people were arrested on suspicion of subversion in violation of the national security law, in the biggest arrests since the law was enacted in June last year.

Hong Kong police said the charges of subversion stem from an unofficial vote the pro-democracy activists organized last year ahead of a Legislative Council election. The vote was conducted with the aim of winning a majority in the Council to force out the Chief Executive.

The Legislative Council election was scheduled for September but was postponed due to the pandemic.

Pompeo announced in the same statement on Thursday that US Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft will visit Taiwan in the near future. Taiwan is not a UN member.

Kelly's planned visit to Taiwan will follow the one in August last year by US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar.

Azar was the highest US government official to visit Taiwan since the US severed ties with Taiwan in 1979.