Beijing: China has imposed sanctions against 11 US entities in retaliation of the action initiated by the United States in the Hong Kong issue. Sanctions have been imposed against six Congressmen, including Marco Rubio and Ted Cruise, and five voluntary organisations. They have been accused of inappropriate behaviour on the Hong Kong issue. While initiating this action against the United States, China arrested Agnes Chou and Wilson Lee, along with Jimmy Lai, the chief of the Hong Kong daily Apple Daily. This action is taken under the new National Security Law implemented in Hong Kong, and strong reactions have been received from around the world regarding the action.
Last week, the United States imposed sanctions against 11 Chinese entities, along with the Hong Kong administrative chief Carrie Lam. President Trump has taken a firm stand that action will be taken against the Chinese officials and leaders who oppress freedom of the people of Hong Kong and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the action is being taken in line with the President’s stand. The Chinese spokesman said that the Chinese action was an equivalent retaliation of the US action.
The sanctions imposed by China are against senior senators Ted Cruise and Marco Rubio along with congressmen Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley, Pat Toomey and Chris Smith. Others targeted by the sanctions are Carl Gershman of National Endowment for Democracy, Derek Mitchell of President of the National Democratic Institute, Daniel Twining of International Republican Institute, Kenneth Roth of Human Rights Watch and Michael Abramovich of Freedom House. This is the second action taken by China against Senators Ted Cruise and Marco Rubio. Marco Rubio passed a sarcastic remark by stating, ‘Last month, they imposed a ban against me and now these sanctions. The Chinese rulers apparently don’t like me.’
While announcing sanctions against the United States, China has sharpened the edge of its actions in Hong Kong. Ten people, including Jimmy Lai, the chief of leading Hong Kong newspaper Hong Kong Daily, were arrested under the National Security Law. Jimmy Lai is known as a staunch supporter of democratic values and an influential critic of the Chinese communist rulers. He has openly supported all the anti-China agitations held in Hong Kong in the last ten years. Along with Lai, Agnes Chou, a leading journalist and democracy activist and Wilson Lee were also arrested by China.
Strong reactions have been received on the international level against the actions of the Chinese agencies. Along with the United States and the United Kingdom, the United Nations also has expressed concerns over the action. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo criticised that this action, once again, exposes the Chinese intentions regarding Hong Kong. Hundreds of people protested in front of the Chinese embassy in the South Korean capital of Seoul.