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China Slaps Sanctions On Seven US Citizens, Entities, Ex-Secretary of Commerce Amid Hong Kong Row

© Sputnik / Pavel Lvov / Go to the photo bankThe Chinese Foreign Ministry's building in Beijing
The Chinese Foreign Ministry's building in Beijing - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.07.2021
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Beijing's move comes in response to Washington's decision to sanction seven officials from the Hong Kong liaison office over allegedly infringing on the freedoms of the island's residents.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry has announced that Beijing will impose sanctions against seven American entities and citizens, including Trump-era Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross.
In addition to this, Beijing vowed to impose "reciprocal counter-sanctions" on current and former heads of such agencies as the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, as well as NGOs like Human Rights Watch, National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, and the DC-based Hong Kong Democracy Council. It is unclear what these "counter-sanctions" involve.
"The US side concocted the so-called Hong Kong business advisory, baselessly smeared Hong Kong's commercial environment, and illegally sanctioned Chinese officials in Hong Kong. These actions seriously violated international law and the basic principles of international relations, and seriously interfered in China's internal affairs", China's Foreign Ministry said.
White House Spokeswoman Jen Psaki responded to the announcement, saying that the US was "undeterred" by the new Chinese sanctions. She went on to allege that the new economic measures suggest that the investment climate in China is deteriorating and that Beijing is punishing its own citizens and businesses with these actions.

Chinese Counter-Sanctions

The ministry indicated that the new sanctions are a direct response to the US’ earlier decision to slap seven members of the Hong Kong liaison office with sanctions. Washington justified the move by claiming that Beijing had infringed on the freedoms that the residents of Hong Kong had been enjoying for years.
The US and other Western countries have heavily criticised Beijing for allegedly harshly suppressing demonstrations in Hong Kong in 2019 that opposed the adoption of new security laws which made punishments for treason harsher. Washington slammed Beijing for abandoning its promise of maintaining certain freedoms on the territory of Hong Kong. China condemned these statements, accusing Western countries of attempting to meddle in its domestic affairs.
The Chinese flag(L) is draped beside the European Union (EU) during an EU- China Summit at the European Union Commission headquarters in Brussels on June 29, 2015 - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.05.2021
EU Parliament Votes to Halt Ratification of China Investment Deal Until Beijing Lifts Sanctions
US-Chinese relations were strained under Trump's presidency and the situation has not changed since the inauguration of Joe Biden. The two countries have disagreements on a number of issues. Apart from Hong Kong, relations were also torpedoed by continued US pressure on Chinese tech companies, such as Huawei, promises of selling weapons to Taiwan, and sending ships to the South China Sea, which Beijing sees as its territorial waters.
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