Senator Ted Cruz and Senator Marco Rubio (R) attend a signing ceremony for S442, NASA’s transition authorization act, with U.S. President Donald Trump at the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, USA, 21 March 2017.
Kevin Lamarque | Reuters
China said it would impose sanctions on 11 U.S. citizens including officials Monday in response to Washington’s move Friday to impose sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials whom it accused of restricting political freedoms in the city.
Among those targeted were Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley and Pat Toomey, and Representative Chris Smith, as well as individuals in nonprofit and rights groups.
“In response to those misconduct by the United States, China has decided to impose sanctions on individuals who have behaved in a biased manner on Hong Kong-related issues,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. regular press conference on monday.
He did not specify what the sanctions entail.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated over issues ranging from trade to Hong Kong and China’s handling of Covid-19.
The Beijing move is the latest in a series of rounds of sanctions between China and the United States on allegations of human rights abuses and interference.
Washington imposed sanctions on Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam, as well as current city chiefs and former police officers, under an executive order signed by President Donald Trump.
These sanctions freeze any U.S. assets owned by officials and generally prohibit Americans from doing business with them.
U.S. lawmakers targeted by Beijing on Monday have been vocal critics of a new national security law that expands Beijing’s authority in Hong Kong.
Last month, China announced sanctions against Cruz, Rubio, Smith and other U.S. officials after Washington punished senior Chinese officials for treating Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region.
The Beijing latest move also includes new sanctions against leaders of US-based campaign groups Freedom House and Human Rights Watch. Both had been subject to sanctions in December in connection with Hong Kong.
It also imposed sanctions on the heads of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the Republican International Institute.