China sanctions Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
China said on Friday it had sanctioned seven people, including Trump’s former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in response to US sanctions imposed on Chinese officials for Beijing’s crackdown on democracy in Hong Kong.
Reciprocal sanctions were imposed under China’s new anti-foreign sanctions law, which was passed in June. The sanctions are a response to the recent warning by the United States to companies about the risks of doing business in Hong Kong.
They also came a few days before Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman visits China, making her the top US official to visit China under the Biden administration.
In addition to Ross, others sanctioned include Carolyn Bartholomew, chair of the US-China Economic Security Review Commission; Jonathan Stivers, former personnel director of the Congressional Executive Commission on China; and Sophie Richardson, director of Human Rights Watch for China.
DoYun Kim of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs was also sanctioned; Adam Joseph King, Senior Program Director of the International Republican Institute and the Hong Kong Democratic Council.
“I would like to stress once again that Hong Kong is China’s special administrative region and its affairs are an integral part of China’s internal affairs,” the Foreign Ministry said. spokesman Zhao Lijian said in a statement. “Any attempt by outside forces to interfere in the affairs of Hong Kong would be as futile as an ant trying to shake a large tree.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told a press briefing on Friday that the United States was aware of the latest sanctions imposed by China.
“We are not deterred by these actions and remain fully committed to implementing all relevant US sanctions against the authorities,” Psaki said at the briefing. “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 and further illustrate the deterioration of the PRC’s investment climate and the risks growing policies. “
Psaki said he was following China’s “baseless sanction” against two commissioners of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom in March, 28 US officials in January as well as sanctions against US officials and organizations in July 2020.
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The State Department did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Lijian said on Friday that China “strongly opposes and strongly condemns” the Biden administration’s publication of the Hong Kong Business Advisory last week, which warns that US companies face several risks posed by China’s sweeping corporate law. national security in Hong Kong.
“These acts seriously violate international law and basic standards governing international relations, and seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs,” Lijian said in the statement.
China’s National Security Law was passed in June 2020 and has been condemned by Washington for seeking to limit Hong Kong’s autonomy and ban literature critical of the Chinese Communist Party.
A Biden administration advisory, published jointly by the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce and Homeland Security, says businesses face risks of warrantless electronic surveillance, data handover to authorities, and “restricted access to data”. ‘information”.
He also sanctioned several Chinese officials with the Beijing Liaison Office in Hong Kong for having limited autonomy in the territory.
“Beijing has undermined Hong Kong’s reputation for accountable and transparent governance and respect for individual freedoms, and has broken its promise to leave Hong Kong’s high degree of autonomy unchanged for 50 years,” the secretary said. ‘State Antony Blinken in a statement on the advisory.
Hong Kong’s warning came days after the The Biden administration issued a similar notice for companies with business and operations in Xinjiang Province, where there is growing evidence that the Chinese government has perpetrated genocide and other human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities .
Relations between Beijing and Washington became even more strained under the Trump administration, which sparked a trade war and worked to ban Chinese tech companies from doing business in the United States.
Biden has previously said his approach will be different from that of his predecessor, saying he will work closely with his allies to push back Beijing.
Chinese sanctions against Ross came soon after the justice ministry refused to prosecute him for allegedly misleading Congress on census citizenship issues.