After months of a heated back and forth between the United States and China regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, China has announced that it is sanctioning Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R) and Texas Senator Ted Cruz (R).
Both lawmakers introduced legislation that would punish senior Chinese officials over Beijing’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang. In response, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chungying announced that that the sanctions against the lawmakers and others would begin today. Both lawmakers, long-time critics of China, have been listed as “corresponding sanctions.”
Hua commented that “the U.S. actions seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs, seriously violate the basic norms of international relations and seriously damage sino-U.S. relations.” Hua added that “China will make further responses based on how the situation develops.”
When the United States last placed sanctions on Chinese officials over human rights abuses, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo commented that “the United States will not stand idly by as the CCP carries out human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs and members of other minority groups in Xinjiang, to include forced labor, arbitrary mass detention and forced population control, and attempts to erase their culture and Muslim faith.”
The sanctions targeted three senior officials in Xinjiang, which does not allow them or their family members to enter the United States.
Senator Rubio responded to the announced sanctions with a tweet, questioning, “I guess they don’t like me?”
The Communist Party of #China has banned me from entering the country.
I guess they don’t like me?
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) July 13, 2020