China announces sanctions against Wilbur Ross, six others in U.S.

China announced it is imposing counter-sanctions on seven U.S. citizens and entities, including former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in retaliation against sanctions imposed by Washington.

Beijing on Friday announced the sanctions are being imposed on Ross as well as Carolyn Bartholomew, chair of U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission; Jonathan Stivers, the former staff director of Congressional-Executive Commission on China; DoYun Kim of the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs; Adam Joseph King, senior program manager of the International Republican Institute; and Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch.

Sanctions were also announced against the Washington-based Hong Kong Democracy Council.

A representative for China’s Foreign Ministry said the counter-sanctions are being imposed in response to the Biden administration’s July 16 announcement of sanctions against seven Chinese officials.

The counter-sanctions are also a response to the administration warning U.S. businesses against doing business in Hong Kong, where China imposed a national security law in June 2020.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the warning was designed to “groundlessly smear Hong Kong’s business environment, and illegally imposed sanctions on several officials of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong SAR [Special Administrative Region].”

“These acts gravely violate international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely interfere in China’s internal affairs. China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this,” Zhao said.

China’s announcement came less than 48 hours before U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman was scheduled to visit China on Sunday.