Selin ATAY-TDO- Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam has said that she has to keep "piles of cash" at home as she has no bank account because of sanctions imposed on her by the US Treasury.
The US- sanctions on Carrie Lam and other officials were in response to China's new security law for Hong Kong.
In an interview broadcast on local English TV, Carrie Lam said she was "using cash every day for all the things". "Sitting in front of you is a chief executive of the Hong Kong SAR (Special Administrative Region) who has no banking service made available to her," Ms lam told local English TV channel.
"I have piles of cash at home, the government is paying me cash for my salary because I don't have a bank account," she added. Her statement has prompted social media speculation about how the government manages to transport the leader's “generous salary” to her home. Carrie Lam is said to be one of the highest paid leaders in the world, and has been reported to earn an annual salary of HK$5.2m ($670,000; £500,000).
Hong Kong's Chief Executive Carrie Lam also added that it was "very honourable" to be "unjustifiably sanctioned" by the US government.
China introduced a new National Security Law on June 30, which came into force in the region with the approval of the Hong Kong Parliament. The law, adopted in June, sparked a backlash in Hong Kong, where citizens have more legal guarantees than mainland China in terms of freedom of thought and expression under the principle of "one country, two systems."
The National Security Act prohibits acts and activities that endanger national security through subversion of the Chinese central government, incitement to rebellion, treason, terrorism. For this reason, the law became the focus of criticism because it allowed the Beijing Administration to intervene in the autonomous structure of Hong Kong, made it difficult to criticize the Chinese administration, and criminalized pro-democracy and independence ideas..
In August, the Washington administration decided to sanction 11 officials, including Hong Kong Chief Executive Lam, China's Hong Kong Liaison Office Director Luo Huining and Hong Kong Police Force Commissioner Chris Tang Ping, due to the National Security Act. Therefore, Washington freezed the US assets of a dozen Hong Kong officials and seized any property they may own in the US.