China has imposed sanctions on 11 U.S. citizens, including lawmakers and chairmen of several U.S.-based NGOs, most recently over a national security law imposed on Hong Kong by Beijing.
In response to a similar move by the U.S. last week, China’s foreign ministry said Monday it would target U.S. citizens who “have acted prejudiced on Hong Kong-related issues.”
Without specifying what the sanctions would mean, the ministry appointed Republican senators Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley and Pat Toomey, Republican Rep. Chris Smith and presidents of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the National Endowment for Democracy, and the Republican International Institute. , Human Rights Watch and Freedom House.
On Friday the US announced sanctions against Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam, as well as 10 other senior Chinese and Hong Kong officials, freezing any US-based assets and banning travel to the US It was unclear if any of the targeted officials had property or assets in the US
Lam has said she does not “particularly like going to the US” and has no assets there. Luo Huining, head of China’s liaison office in Hong Kong and among the Chinese officials to be sanctioned, ridiculed the move as useless.
“Being on the US sanctions list simply means I have done what I have to do for the nation and Hong Kong,” he said on Saturday. “Isn’t such a ‘sanction’ in vain because I have no assets abroad? Of course, I can also send $ 100 to Mr. Trump for freezing.”
Observers say China’s move is also largely symbolic, given that few US officials have assets in China. Chinese officials often have families and in some cases US property Lami’s son, a Harvard student, is said to have been missing since late July after telling a roommate he urgently needed to return to Hong Kong.
The sanctions imposed on Tat are the latest front in an escalating rivalry between China and the US, whose ties have deteriorated over issues including Huawei, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, Hong Kong security law and support. ongoing U.S. for Taiwan.
China previously announced sanctions against Rubio, Cruz and other U.S. officials in response to similar sentences for Chinese policy-related officials in Xinjiang that have led to mass bans and surveillance of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities.