China to impose reciprocal sanctions against 6 US individuals, 1 entity; ‘1st time anti-foreign sanctions law used’
Published: Jul 24, 2021 04:21 AM
China US Photo: VCG

China US Photo: VCG

China will impose sanctions against six individuals and one entity of the US, as a reciprocal countermeasure against the recent erroneous practice of the US targeting Hong Kong, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said on the ministry’s website on Friday evening.
According to the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law, China decides to impose sanctions against 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.  

On July 16, the US government issued an advisory to warn US businesses about risks to their operations and activities in Hong Kong, and sanctioned seven Hong Kong liaison office officials, adding them to Treasury's "specially designated nationals" list.

The so-called “Hong Kong Business Advisory” concocted by the US to smear the business environment in Hong Kong, and its illegal sanction on several officials of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR, gravely violate international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely interfere in China's internal affairs, the spokesperson said.

“China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this.” said the spokesperson. 

“I would like to stress once again that Hong Kong is China's Special Administrative Region and its affairs are an integral part of China's internal affairs,” the spokesperson noted. “Any attempt by external forces to interfere in Hong Kong's affairs would be as futile as an ant trying to shake a big tree.”

China took reciprocal countermeasures against the latest US financial sanctions on Chinese officials, in accordance with the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law. It was the first time China has used the law to respond to unilateral moves and long-arm jurisdiction by the US and it has great significance, Tian Feilong, a member of the Beijing-based Chinese Association of Hong Kong and Macao Studies, told the Global Times on Friday.
“The application of the law shows that our work in extraterritorial jurisdiction is necessary, as the legal battle on US-related issues will continue,” he said, noting that this is also a legitimate response to US efforts to sanction Chinese officials.

It also showed that introducing the Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law into the Annex III of the Basic Law for it being applied in Hong Kong is necessary, which will help the HKSAR government to work with the central government in effectively responding to foreign sanctions and interference, Tian added. 

Some US personals being put into China’s latest sanction list such as Sophie Richardson, the Congressional-Executive Commission staff director Jonathan Stivers and also Hong Kong Democracy Council have been playing infamous role in meddling in China’s internal affairs by playing Hong Kong card.

For instance, the Washington-based Hong Kong Democracy Council, which was sanctioned by the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Friday, said Washington’s recent sanction on Chinese official signals “unwavering commitment by successive US administrations to speak up for Hong Kong,” according to media reports.

Also, in an open remark in December 2020, Carolyn Bartholomew from USCC, who was sanctioned by the Chinese ministry as countermeasure on Friday, said the implementation of the national security law for Hong Kong signaled the end of “one country, two systems,” distorting the fact that the law actually brought back the social stability and prosperity to Hong Kong after months of social turmoil.

China has already imposed countermeasure on the National Democratic Institute (NDI) staff against US sanctions over Hong Kong last year, when three personals including Kelvin Sit, the NDI’s program director for Hong Kong, being identified in last November, according to media reports. In this round of countermeasure, the ministry also imposes sanction on another staff member of the NDI – DoYun Kim.
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