China has sanctioned 11 Americans including senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz on Monday. The move comes in retaliation for the similar action taken by the US.
The US had accused 11 officials of suppressing “freedom and democratic processes” in Hong Kong last week.
China said that the move was a violation of international law and “grossly interferes in China’s internal affairs”.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday, “China has decided to impose sanctions on some people that behaved badly on Hong Kong-related issues”. Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth and National Endowment for Democracy president Carl Gershman were also included in the list.
Mr. Rubio tweeted, “Last month #China banned me. Today they sanctioned me. I don’t want to be paranoid but I am starting to think they don’t like me.”
Last month #China banned me
Today they sanctioned me
I don’t want to be paranoid but I am starting to think they don’t like mehttps://t.co/Pk9yH1io3Z
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 10, 2020
According to the international news agency, Republican senators Rubio and Cruz proved themselves as most vocal supporters of Hong Kong’s democracy movement last year.
Roth said in a statement issued by Human Rights Watch, “The Chinese government’s announcement of unspecified sanctions against me is little more than an effort to distract attention from its wholesale assault on the rights of the people of Hong Kong”.
Arrest warrants have also been issued by the authorities for six exiled pro-democracy campaigners and launched a crackdown on other activists.