By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - China on Friday sanctioned several former and current US officials and a Human Rights Watch director with Hong Kong arguing their actions “gravely violated international law and severely interfered in China's internal affairs.”
“The US has concocted the so-called ‘Hong Kong Business Advisory’ to groundlessly smear Hong Kong's business environment,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The move came after the US Treasury, Commerce, Homeland Security and State departments issued what Washington called “Hong Kong Business Advisory.”
Washington imposed sanctions on several Chinese officials at Beijing’s Liaison Office in Hong Kong that China called “illegal.”
“These acts gravely violate international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely interfere in China's internal affairs,” said Beijing. “China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this.”
In a tit-for-tat move, China used its recently passed Anti-Foreign Sanctions Law to sanction former US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Louis Ross, Chairman of US-China Economic and Security Review Commission Carolyn Bartholomew, former Staff Director of Congressional-Executive Commission on China Jonathan Stivers, DoYun Kim at National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, senior program manager of the International Republican Institute Adam Joseph King, China Director at Human Rights Watch Sophie Richardson, and the Hong Kong Democratic Council.
“Hong Kong is China's Special Administrative Region and its affairs are an integral part of China's internal affairs. Any attempt by external forces to interfere in Hong Kong's affairs would be as futile as an ant trying to shake a big tree,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry.