China sanctions 11 Americans in retaliation for US move

US senator Marco Rubio is among the US officials who have been sanctioned by China. (AP pic)

BEIJING: 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 Monday, with Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth and National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman also on the list.

Washington had announced on Friday it was freezing the US assets of Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam and 10 other senior Chinese officials, in the toughest US action on Hong Kong since China imposed a sweeping new security law on the territory.

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

Zhao on Monday said the US move “grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs and seriously violates international law.”