Chinas ruling communist party announced Monday it was imposing sanctions on 11 Americans, including some lawmakers, in response to sanctions imposed by the United States last week.
Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, said at a press conference that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “resolutely opposes” and “vehemently condemns” the Trump administrations actions.
“In response to the erroneous actions of the United States, the Chinese government decided to sanction, effective from today, those who behaved badly on issues regarding Hong Kong,” Zhao said.
In addition to Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), China is sanctioning Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.).
All have been vocal about human rights issues in China, including the CCPs brutal treatment of some one million Uyghurs in concentration camps. Uyghurs are a Turkic ethnic minority group who live in Xinjiang, a region the CCP took over in 1949.
The regime is also targeting Carl Gershman, president of the National Endowment for Democracy; Derek Mitchell, president of National Democratic Institute; Ken Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch; Daniel Twining, president of International Republican Institute; and Michael Abramowitz, president of Freedom House.
President Donald Trump on Aug. 7 sanctioned Carrie Lam, the leader of Hong Kong, and 10 other officials for undermining the citys autonomy.
The 11 officials have helped implement a national security law passed last month that has led to greater authoritarian control over Hong Kong.
“The United States stands with the people of Hong Kong and we will use our tools and authorities to target those undermining their autonomy,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement regarding the sanctions.
Trump in July ended Hong Kongs special status with America because top officials deemed the city no longer sufficiently autonomous from mainland China. The same day, he signed into law a bill that would sanction officials and banks involved in crushing the citys freedoms.