China imposes sanctions on Ted Cruz and Marcio Rubio as diplomatic spat escalates


Summary generated on August 10, 2020

    China's foreign ministry said it would apply sanctions against 11 American politicians and officials, including US senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, starting on Monday.

    It follows the Trump administration's move on Friday to impose sanctions on 11 Hong Kong and Chinese officials whom it accused of curtailing political freedoms in the city.

    Mr Cruz and Mr Rubio spearheaded recent legislation aimed at preventing goods produced by forced labour being bought or imported by US companies - and to mandate that the US government sanction anyone who "Knowingly engages" in forced labour in Xinjiang.

    Congressman Mr Smith has also introduced legislation condemning China's treatment of the Uighurs.

    He has claimed that president Xi Jinping is "Presiding over genocide".

    Mr Brownback, currently the US's ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, has been another fierce China critic.

    He previously called on the international community to "Get their courage back" and confront Beijing's alleged abuses in Xinjiang.

    China announced sanctions against Mr Cruz, Mr Rubio and fellow Republicans Samuel Brownback and Chris Smith last month, after Washington penalised senior Chinese officials over the treatment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang region.

    China's ministry of foreign affairs spokeswoman Hua Chunying revealed the retaliatory move on 13 July, without giving any details of what the sanctions would entail.

    "Ms Hua said US sanctions were a"serious interference in China's internal affairs, severe violation of basic norms governing international relations, and grave harm to China-US relations.