China imposes sanctions on US officials

China on Friday imposed sanctions on seven US individuals and entity, under Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, in response to the US penalties imposed on the Hong Kong officials over crackdown of democracy in the semi-autonomous region. This action comes in response to the US’ recent warning to companies about the risks of doing business in Hong Kong. Last week, the United States had imposed Hong Kong-related sanctions on seven individuals and warned companies of the risks of doing business in the territory.

The list of seven US individuals and entity include former US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Louis Ross; Chairman of US-China Economic and Security Review Commission (USCC) Carolyn Bartholomew; former Staff Director of Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) Jonathan Stivers; DoYun Kim at National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; senior program manager of the International Republican Institute (IRI) Adam Joseph King; China Director at Human Rights Watch Sophie Richardson, and Hong Kong Democratic Council. It did not specify what the sanctions entailed. The counter-sanctions come days before US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is due to visit China. China introduced the National Security Law in Hong Kong last year in response to massive pro-democracy protests. It criminalises secession, subversion and collusion with foreign forces and carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.

China’s foreign ministry said on Friday that the recent US sanctions were designed to “groundlessly smear Hong Kong’s business environment” and “gravely violate international law and basic norms governing international relations”. It said it would impose sanctions on seven US individuals and entities