China imposed sanctions on former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and six others on Friday, in response to recent U.S. actions over Chinese threats to Hong Kong’s autonomy.
Last week, the Biden administration warned American companies against doing business in Hong Kong, maintaining that China’s imposition of a national security law in June 2020 “significantly reduced Hong Kong’s autonomy.”
“As a result, business and rule of law risks that were formerly limited to mainland China are now increasingly a concern in Hong Kong,” the Department of State, Department of the Treasury, Department of Commerce and Department of Homeland Security said in a joint advisory last week.
On Friday, a Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a statement that the U.S. advisory was meant to “groundlessly smear Hong Kong’s business environment,” and called further American sanctions on seven Chinese officials over Hong Kong illegal. “In response to the erroneous practice of the US side, China has decided to take reciprocal countermeasures,” the spokesperson said.
Ross, who served as the Secretary of Commerce under former President Donald Trump, is one of seven people and entities sanctioned by the Chinese government.
Others sanctioned include Carolyn Bartholomew, the chair of the United States-China Economic Security Review Commission, and Sophie Richardson, the China director of Human Rights Watch.
Former staff director of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China Jonathan Stivers, DoYun Kim at the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, senior program manager of the International Republican Institute Adam Joseph King and the Hong Kong Democratic Council were also sanctioned.
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