Beijing Sanctions Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio for Criticizing China

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 04: Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) applaud during the State of the Union address in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives on February 04, 2020 in Washington, DC. President Trump delivers his third State of the Union to …
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China on Monday stepped up its deepening row with the U.S. over Beijing’s treatment of ethnic Uighurs in the western Xinjiang region by slapping retaliatory sanctions on three senior Republican lawmakers and a U.S. envoy.

Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) along with Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) were the targets, joining the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, Sam Brownback, as the targets of China’s ire.

The unspecified “corresponding sanctions” were announced days after the U.S. imposed visa bans and asset freezes on several Chinese officials, including the Communist Party chief in Xinjiang, Chen Quanguo, over rights abuses in the region.

AFP reports The tit-for-tat move was “in response to the U.S.’s wrong actions,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing.

“We urge the U.S. to immediately withdraw its wrong decision, and stop any words and actions that interfere in China’s internal affairs and harm China’s interests,” she said, urging any and all opponents of China’s internal policies not to air them in the public domain.

China, however, would still give a running commentary on the actions of its perceived foes including the U.S. and other western nations.

Sanctions will also be applied on the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, an agency that monitors human rights in the Asian country.

The two countries have regularly been at diplomatic odds since President Donald Trump took office, from trade to more recent spats over the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic, oppressive security laws in Hong Kong, and Chinese policies in the far west regions of Tibet and Xinjiang.

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Geopolitical tensions are not the only source of dispute. Trade and commerce are also increasingly being seen as an issue.

To that end, the Trump administration on Friday issued a rule requiring companies to prove they had no commercial ties with several Chinese companies, including Huawei and Hikvision, a maker of surveillance cameras used in the detention camps in Xinjiang.

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