China Sanctions Former US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross and Others | Business and Economy News
The blacklists come in retaliation to the United States, which recently sanctioned Chinese officials in Hong Kong.
China said on Friday it had imposed counter-sanctions on American individuals, including former US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, in response to recent US sanctions against Chinese officials in Hong Kong.
The sanctions are the first imposed by China under its new anti-foreign sanctions law, passed in June, and come days before US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visits China in the midst of deeply strained ties.
China has also imposed unspecified “reciprocal counter-sanctions” on current and former representatives of various organizations, including the Congressional Executive Commission on China and the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission.
Other named institutions included the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute, Human Rights Watch, and the Washington-based Hong Kong Democracy Council (HKDC).
“The US side concocted the so-called Hong Kong business advice, baselessly defamed Hong Kong’s business environment and illegally sanctioned Chinese officials in Hong Kong,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement. communicated.
“These actions seriously violated international law and basic principles of international relations and seriously interfered in China’s internal affairs,” the ministry said.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki told a regular press conference that the United States was “not discouraged” by China’s move, which came after Washington published last week its trade advisory for Hong Kong and imposed sanctions on more Chinese officials following Beijing’s crackdown on democracy in the former British Colony.
“These actions are the latest examples of how Beijing is punishing private citizens, businesses and civil society organizations as a means of sending political signals,” Psaki said, adding that they illustrated the very risks against which the US government had warned.
Ross could not immediately be reached for comment.
It was the second time this year that China has imposed sanctions on officials who served under former US President Donald Trump, who took a hard line on Beijing and confronted it over trade, business practices, human rights and other issues.
As President Joe Biden was sworn in in January, China announced sanctions against outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and 27 other senior Trump officials. The Biden administration called the move “unproductive and cynical.”
Biden has sought to rally allies and partners to help counter what the White House says are China’s increasingly coercive economic and foreign policies.
But US officials have said Sherman’s trip to China this weekend, where she is to meet with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, is an effort to ensure that competition between the two powers does not escalate. not in conflict.
Some of the groups affected by Beijing have largely ruled out any negative impact of the sanctions. The HKDC said on Twitter that being targeted by the ruling Chinese Communist Party was the “best validation” of its fight for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement.
Human Rights Watch China director Sophie Richardson, who was sanctioned by China on Friday, called the move “hollow”.
“These are diplomatic crises designed to distract from Beijing’s complicity in crimes against humanity,” she said, referring to alleged human rights violations by China in its western region of Xinjiang . China has dismissed the charges.