BEIJING, Chi. — China has announced unspecified sanctions against 11 US politicians and heads of organizations promoting democratic causes, including Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who have already been singled out by Beijing.
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian on Monday said the 11 had “performed badly” on issues concerning Hong Kong, where China has cracked down on opposition voices following its imposition of a national security law in the semi-autonomous southern Chinese city last month.
The number of Americans named by the ministry exactly equals the number of Hong Kong and Chinese officials placed on a sanctions list by the US last week over the crackdown.
Others named by the foreign ministry included Senators Josh Hawley and Tom Cotton and Representative Chris Smith.
Heads of organizations including the National Endowment for Democracy and Freedom House were also named.
China urged the US to stop any kind of official interaction with Taiwan, after the US Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar met with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen and Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung.
The visit by Azar to Taiwan comes against the backdrop of tensions between Washington and the island’s rival China over issues from the South China Sea to TikTok.
“We urge the US to adhere to the one-China principle and the three joint communiques, stop making official interactions of any kind with Taiwan, and stop doing anything for substantive improvement of US-Taiwan relations,” said Zhao.
Also asked about the arrest of Hong Kong’s leading independent media tycoon Jimmy Lai at Monday’s regular press conference, Zhao said he was not aware of the incident.