China has put seven Americans on a sanctions list. Beijing is thus striking back at an earlier American decision to warn companies that doing business in Hong Kong poses dangers.
For example, former Secretary of Commerce of the United States Wilbur Ross has been blacklisted.
Washington issued a warning last week to companies that doing business in Hong Kong will make it harder to protect their staff and data. According to the US, this is because China wants to exercise more control over the former British crown colony. This undermines the rule of law in Hong Kong.
According to a statement saying that the US “made up the so-called Hong Kong advice to blacken the business climate in Hong Kong for no reason”, China thinks that’s nonsense. Also, according to China, the US government has “imposed illegal sanctions on several officials”.
The US and China have been arguing for some time over issues such as Hong Kong, human rights in Xinjiang, Taiwan and the origin of the coronavirus.
The recent move by China is mainly seen as symbolic by experts. Ross is the most prominent American on the list and has not been a secretary since January when Joe Biden succeeded Donald Trump as president.