China Sanctions Top US Lawmakers and Rights Activists in Severe Hong Kong Retaliation

The latest action is in response to the US sanction on Hong Kong officials including Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

China is all set to impose sanctions on 11 senators and officials from the United States including Ted Cru and Marco Rubio from Monday. China's retaliation has come following the U.S. decision to sanction 11 officials from Hong Kong and China. The tension between the U.S. and China is escalating due to multiple issues including COVID-19 blame game and other political developments.

The U.S. had imposed sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials following China's stringent move against Hong Kong's democracy activists and the imposition of the new National Security Law in the self-ruled city.

US China flag
Image for representation only. Reuters

Apart from senators Cruz and Rubio, Pat Toomey, Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton Congressman Chris Smith is also in China's sanctions list. Also to be sanctioned are Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, and Michael Abramowitz, the president of US government-funded organization Freedom House.

However, China has not specified the form of sanctions on the U.S. senators and officials. Reports claim that according to China's foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, sanctions are being imposed on individuals who attacked China over Hong Kong-related issues.

Second Sanction For Cruz, Rubio

China is imposing sanctions against U.S. officials for the second time in the last month. The country had already stated that there were sanctions against Cruz and Rubio after senior Chinese officials were penalized by the U.S. over the treatment of Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang.

Cruz and Rubio were criticized by China following their legislation to make sure that goods produced by forced labor were banned from being imported by U.S. companies. According to the legislation, anyone who knowingly gets involved in forced labor in Xinjiang would face U.S. government sanctions. Among the 11 officials from China and Hong Kong against whom the U.S. had imposed sanctions also included Chinese President Xi Jinping, who was accused of presiding over genocide.

In another development, Hong Kong arrested media mogul Jimmy Lai and six others including two of his sons and other executives of Next Digital, Lai's media group. They were arrested on charges of collusion with foreign forces to endanger national security, and conspiracy to commit fraud. Known for his tough stand against China and proximity to the U.S., Lai is suspected of colluding with foreign forces especially the U.S.