China has summoned the acting top U.S. diplomat in Beijing to protest about U.S. sanctions on 14 Chinese officials over Hong Kong, and vowed to take “reciprocal” counter measures.
China’s foreign ministry said that Chinese vice foreign ministry Zheng Zeguang has called the acting representative in the U.S. embassy to express “solemn protest and strong condemnation”.
The United States on Monday imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on all 14 vice-chairpersons of China’s National People’s Congress over their role in adopting a national security law for Hong Kong and Beijing’s disqualification last month of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong.
The committee approved the “National Security Law” last June.
John Ratcliffe, Director of National US Intelligence, said that People’s Republic of China poses the greatest threat to America today, and the greatest threat to democracy and freedom world-wide since World War II.
The Trump administration on Wednesday issued new rules to curtail travel to the United States by members of the Chinese Communist Party and their immediate families.
The US government has said that the restrictions aim to protect the nation from the party’s “pernicious influence”. Meanwhile, official Chinese media warned that the recent steps taken by the United States against China are “worrying indications” that bilateral relations have turned into a “dangerous path.”
Moreover, the U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation that could ultimately lead to Chinese companies getting led off American exchanges if regulators aren’t allowed to review their financial audits. The development stressed several other steps taken by the Trump administration, including an order that would limit travel visas for Communist Party members.
There are 217 Chinese companies listed on NASDAQ, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and NYSE American, with a total market capitalization of USD2.2 trillion, according to a congressional commission on US-China economic relations.
Last Wednesday, US has blocked cotton made by military-linked firm in China’s Xinjiang province, saying it uses forced labor of detained Uighur Muslim.
It’s the latest step in a descending spiral in relations between the dueling economic powers which have sunk to the lowest level in decades, due to issues such as trade, technology and Trumps’ attacks against China over Covid plague.
Last July, Trump signed legislation and an executive order to hold China accountable for its “oppressive” actions against the people of Hong Kong. Meanwhile, China has ordered the closure of the US consulate in the south-western city of Chengdu.
President Trump has placed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of products from China, imposed sanctions on Chinese companies and restricted Chinese businesses from buying American technology.