Americans sanctioned by China in retaliation

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US Senator Marco Rubio is among the 11 Americans sanctioned by China. AFP

China on Monday sanctioned 11 Americans, including senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, in retaliation for similar US moves.

Washington last week accused 11 officials of suppressing “freedom and democratic processes” in Hong Kong, including city leader Carrie Lam, and announced plans to freeze their US assets.

Beijing said the measure was a violation of international law and “grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs”.

“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.

Zhao did not give details of what the sanctions would entail.

Republican senators Rubio and Cruz established themselves as two of the most vocal supporters of Hong Kong’s riots last year, when the city was convulsed by huge and sometimes violent protests.

Beijing has accused “external forces” of fomenting unrest and responded to the unrest by imposing the security law in late June.

The US measures come three months ahead of the presidential election in which Donald Trump, who trails rival Joe Biden in the polls, is campaigning hard on an increasingly strident anti-Beijing message. AFP

Zhao said on Monday that Washington’s Hong Kong-related sanctions “will only make the world more aware of US hegemony, bullying and double standards.”