US senators Monday reprimanded China’s decision to apply sanctions against senators and several other officials, calling it an attempt to distract from Beijing’s crackdown on Hong Kong.
“The Chinese Communist Party thinks that it can distract from its crackdown on Hong Kong, including the arrest of freedom fighter Jimmy Lai, by re-announcing sanctions against Senator Cruz that were already not credible to begin with. It won’t work.” Lauren Blair Aronson, a spokesperson for Senator Ted Cruz, told Al Arabiya English.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said it would apply sanctions against US officials, including Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio and others starting Monday, in response to Washington’s move to impose sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials whom it accused of curtailing political freedoms in the city.
Rubio and Cruz, along with Congressman Chris Smith and Ambassador for Religious Freedom Sam Brownback were targeted last July, as was the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. The four had been critical of the ruling Communist Party’s policies toward minority groups and people of faith.
- Wire agencies