The uncommon transfer by the platform, which is run by Google, comes after Washington introduced sanctions in opposition to Lee and different Hong Kong and Chinese officers in 2020 over what it stated had been their roles in eroding the Chinese territory’s freedoms below a nationwide safety regulation that Beijing imposed earlier that 12 months in response to months of anti-government protests.
“Google complies with applicable U.S. sanctions laws and enforces related policies under its Terms of Service,” an organization spokesperson stated in a press release Wednesday. “After review and consistent with these policies, we terminated the Johnlee2022 YouTube channel.”
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Separately, Facebook proprietor Meta, additionally citing U.S. sanctions, stated Lee may preserve “demonetized presences” on Facebook and Instagram and that it had taken steps to stop using fee companies.
The YouTube channel’s termination was first reported by The South China Morning Post.
Lee’s marketing campaign workplace stated it was “disappointed” by the choice.
“The termination reflects the flagrant hegemonic tactics employed by the U.S. government,” it stated in a press release. “Imposing the so-called sanction on Mr. Lee so as to intimidate him will not in any way affect his strong determination to continue to safeguard national security.”
The assertion added that the channel’s termination wouldn’t have an effect on the marketing campaign.
“Mr. Lee will continue to use his best efforts to reach out to the public to explain his platform and to hear their views through many different means and channels,” it stated.
While companies corresponding to YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are banned in mainland China, they’re accessible in Hong Kong, which was promised a interval of better freedoms below the “one country, two systems” precept when the previous British colony was returned to Chinese rule in 1997.
Critics say these freedoms have been enormously curbed below the nationwide safety regulation, which was imposed in June 2020 and makes the crimes of secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with international forces punishable by as much as life in jail.
Government officers have defended the regulation as needed to revive stability after the 2019 protests, which had been generally violent.
In August 2020, when Lee was Hong Kong’s safety secretary, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on him and 10 different folks, together with the territory’s chief, Chief Executive Carrie Lam, “for undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and restricting the freedom of expression or assembly of the citizens of Hong Kong.” It stated Lee was being sanctioned over his function in implementing and imposing the nationwide safety regulation.
The sanctions freeze any U.S. property held by the officers and bar Americans from doing enterprise with them.
Lee was later promoted to chief secretary, the town’s No. 2 place. He resigned this month to run for chief govt after Lam stated she wouldn’t search a second time period.
Hong Kong’s chief govt is chosen by a 1,500-member Election Committee, the composition of which is now additional managed by Beijing after electoral reforms final 12 months designed to make sure that solely “patriots” loyal to China may run.
Since the crackdown on dissent, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy lawmakers are largely in jail or self-exile or have resigned from politics, and a legislative election in December drew file low turnout in what some stated was an expression of voter antipathy. This week, two folks accused of sharing a Facebook publish urging voters to spoil their ballots in that election obtained suspended sentences of two months in jail.
Lee, 64, a former profession police officer, has not but launched his manifesto for the chief govt election, which shall be held May 8 after it was postponed from March due to a coronavirus outbreak. He is anticipated to emphasise safety points and has stated one in every of his high priorities shall be to enact native nationwide safety laws referred to as Article 23.