China imposes sanctions on 11 Americans

China on Monday sanctioned 11 Americans, including senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, in retaliation for similar US moves against Chinese officials over Beijing’s crackdown in Hong Kong.

China has decided to impose sanctions on some people that behaved badly on Hong Kong-related issues,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday, with Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth and National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman also on the list.

Washington announced last Friday that it was freezing the US assets of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other senior Chinese officials, in the toughest US action on Hong Kong since China imposed a sweeping new security law on the territory.

It accused Mrs Lam and the other sanctioned officials of being “directly responsible for implementing Beijing’s policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes”.

Mr Zhao on Monday said that the US move “grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and seriously violates international law”. The foreign ministry said it would apply the sanctions starting on Monday.

Last month, China had already announced sanctions against Mr Cruz, Mr Rubio and other US officials after Washington penalised senior Chinese officials over the treatment of Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region.

Haifaa Mafalani

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