China retaliates, sanctions 11 US politicians, head of organisations over Hong Kong

Hong Kong media tycoon Jimmy Lai (C) was arrested on Monday.

China on Monday sanctioned 11 US politicians and heads of organisations in retaliation for the sanctions imposed by Washington on Hong Kong officials last week, news wires reported.

 

The sanctioned US individuals include senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who had been previously criticized by Beijing, as well as heads of agencies and nonprofits such as Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth and Freedom House President Michael Abramowitz. The 11 sanctioned individuals have "behaved badly" on Hong Kong-related issues, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said in Beijing. He did not specify what the sanctions consisted of.

The move comes after the US on Friday announced sanctions on officials accused of suppressing freedoms in Hong Kong, including the city’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, police chief Chris Tang and justice secretary Teresa Cheng. The sanctions were introduced in reaction to Beijing’s imposition of a new national security law on Hong Kong in late June, and for postponing for one year elections in which the government was expected to fare poorly.

"The relevant actions of the United States blatantly intervened in Hong Kong affairs, grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, and severely violated international law and the basic norms of international relations," Zhao said.

Earlier on Monday, Hong Kong police arrested media mogul and outspoken pro-democracy figure Jimmy Lai on accusations of breaching the new national security law. Police raided the offices of pan-democratic tabloid Apple Daily, which was founded by Lai.

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