China sanctions 11 Americans over 'bad' behaviour on Hong Kong-related issues

WION Web Team Beijing, China Aug 10, 2020, 02.42 PM(IST)

US China relations Photograph:( AFP )

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Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth and National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman are also on the sanctions list.

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.

Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth and National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman are also on the sanctions list.

The US on Friday froze the assets of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other senior Chinese officials.

It accused Lam and the other sanctioned officials of being "directly responsible for implementing Beijing's policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes."

This was considered to be the toughest US action on Hong Kong since China imposed a sweeping new security law on the territory.

The US Treasury directly accused Lam of "implementing Beijing's policies of suppression of freedom and democratic processes".

Relations between the two countries have deteriorated over issues ranging from trade to Hong Kong and China`s handling of COVID-19.

The US has strongly criticised Hong Kong's national security law. China has defended its controversial law as necessary to stop foreign interference in Hong Kong and the often violent pro-democracy protests that took place last year.

Last month, China announced sanctions against Cruz, Rubio, Smith and other U.S. officials after Washington penalized senior Chinese officials over the treatment of Uighur Muslims in its Xinjiang region.

Beijing's latest measure also includes new sanctions against the heads of the US-based campaign groups Freedom House and Human Rights Watch. Both had were been subjected to sanctions in December in relation to Hong Kong.

It also imposed sanctions on the heads of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs and the International Republican Institute.

(with inputs from agencies)