Beijing deployed a sweeping security law to stamp out dissent and rolled out a new "patriots only" political system for Hong Kong to guarantee anyone standing for office is considered suitably loyal.
China has unveiled a list of Hong Kong government officials in the new administration of incoming leader John Lee.
Lists from the official Xinhua news agency and the Hong Kong government on Sunday showed the new administration includes four senior officials that were placed under US sanctions.
Introducing his new cabinet to reporters, Lee said he "scoffed at the so-called sanctions" and paid them no attention.
"Some countries of bullies tried to intimidate (Hong Kong) officials with measures like sanctions, especially after their plots to sabotage our national security failed because of the measures we deployed," Lee said.
"This made us more determined in continuing to discharge our duties of defending national security."
The United States hit 11 Hong Kong and Beijing officials with sanctions two years ago after a sweeping national security law was imposed to snuff out dissent in the semi-autonomous city following the massive democracy protests of 2019.
Seven were members of the Hong Kong government, and four will continue in the new administration, including Lee, security minister Chris Tang, mainland affairs minister Erick Tsang and newly appointed chief secretary for administration Eric Chan.
The other three sanctioned were retired police chief Steven Lo, outgoing city leader Carrie Lam and Secretary for Justice Teresa Cheng, who will be replaced.
Under the sanctions, Lam has said she was forced to receive her salary in cash due to banking restrictions.
Some Hong Kong media have said President Xi Jinping is expected to attend Lee's swearing-in ceremony in Hong Kong, but it was not confirmed whether any senior mainland leaders would attend.
The officials are set to be sworn in on July 1, when the Chinese-ruled financial hub marks the 25th anniversary of its handover from Britain.
A British colony until 1997, Hong Kong is on high alert as Covid-19 infections have risen to more than 1,000 recently, although there is no sign yet of tighter curbs ahead of the swearing-in.
Its measures still rank among the toughest, with at least a week's hotel quarantine for overseas visitors and mandatory daily testing for tens of thousands of people.
READ MORE: Hong Kong’s next leader expected to meet President Xi Jinping in Beijing