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China Sanctions US Politicians         08/10 06:21

   

   BEIJING (AP) -- China on Monday announced unspecified sanctions against 11 
U.S. politicians and heads of organizations promoting democratic causes, 
including Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who have already been singled out 
by Beijing.

   Foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday said the 11 had 
"performed badly" on issues concerning Hong Kong, where China has cracked down 
on opposition voices following its imposition of a national security law in the 
semi-autonomous southern Chinese city last month.

   The number of Americans named by the ministry exactly equals the number of 
Hong Kong and Chinese officials placed on a sanctions list by the U.S. last 
week over the crackdown.

   China showed its determination to defy such pressure on Monday by arresting 
leading independent media tycoon Jimmy Lai and raiding the publisher's 
headquarters.

   "The relevant actions of the U.S. blatantly intervened in Hong Kong affairs, 
grossly interfered in China's internal affairs, and seriously violated 
international law and the basic norms of international relations," foreign 
ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said at a daily briefing on Monday.

   "China urges the U.S. to have a clear understanding of the situation, 
correct mistakes, and immediately stop interfering in Hong Kong affairs and 
interfering in China's internal affairs."

   Others named by the foreign ministry included Senators Josh Hawley, Tom 
Cotton and Pat Toomey and Representative Chris Smith. National Endowment for 
Democracy President Carl Gershman, National Democratic Institute President 
Derek Mitchell, International Republican Institute President Daniel Twining, 
Human Rights Watch Executive Director Kenneth Roth, and Michael Abramowitz, 
President of Freedom House, were also on the sanctions list, according to Zhao.

   Beijing already placed a travel ban on Rubio, Cruz and Smith last month 
after Washington announced similar measures against Chinese officials linked to 
measures taken against Muslims in the northwestern Chinese region of Xinjiang.

   The standing committee of China's national legislature passed the National 
Security Law last month, bypassing the city's Legislative Council and the 
public, where such legislation has faced stiff opposition for years.

   The move came in response to months of sometimes violent anti-government 
protests last year that Beijing said were encouraged by foreign forces in a bid 
to overthrow Chinese rule over the former British colony that was handed over 
to Chinese rule in 1997 under a "one country, two systems" framework meant to 
last until 2047.

 
 
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