China sanctions U.S. officials in retaliatory move
China on Thursday hit back against U.S. sanctions on Chinese leaders by targeting members of Congress and U.S. diplomats in Hong Kong and Macau.
China had announced sanctions on U.S. Congress members and curbed some visa exemptions for U.S. diplomatic passport holders visiting Hong Kong and Macau.
The move is in retaliation for travel bans and other sanctions imposed on Tuesday by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on 14 Chinese lawmakers, including the vice-chairman of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee.
The vice-chairman who is a top ruling body, over China’s curbing of freedoms in Hong Kong.
The U.S. sanctions represent gross interference in China’s internal affairs, said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.
Hua did not specify what the sanctions on U.S. Congress members would consist of.
The U.S. sanctions address what Washington sees as Beijing’s encroachment on Hong Kong’s autonomy, particularly through a national security law adopted earlier that criminalises dissent in the financial hub.
The U.S. earlier imposed sanctions on several Hong Kong officials including its chief executive, Carrie Lam.
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