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China Retaliates with Sanctions on the US Officials in a Response to US Sanctions on China

China has placed sanctions on the US officials and lawmakers on January 18. The sanctions by China come as a reaction after the US placed individual sanctions on some Chinese officials last week. Names of the officials sanctioned by China have not been disclosed yet.

“China firmly rejects and strongly condemns the U.S. practice as it is blatant interference in Hong Kong affairs, China’s internal affairs and judicial sovereignty, and a serious violation of international law and basic norms governing international relations,” said the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying while speaking to media in Beijing.

“Based on response to the U.S. wrong behaviors, China has decided to impose reciprocal sanctions on U.S. officials of the executive branch, people of Congress and NGOs who behaved egregiously and bear major responsibilities on Hong Kong-related issues, as well as their immediate family members,” she added.

Last week, the US had placed sanctions on two Chinese CCP officials for their involvement in setting Hong Kong policy. A pro-Beijing legislator and three Hong Kong security officials in the police force were also sanctioned by the US.

Recently, the US lifted decades-old restrictions on how its diplomats and other officials interact with Taiwan. China has decided to place sanctions over US officials responsible to relax the restrictions. 

“In light of the U.S. erroneous behaviors, China has decided to impose sanctions on the U.S. officials who bear major responsibilities and acted egregiously with regard to Taiwan,” she said.

Replying to a media query, Ms Hua Chunying also refuted the claims and “fact-sheet” published by the US on the origins of COVID-19 linking Chinese military and Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). 

“The fact sheet has no fact, but only a bunch of lies, laying bare these politicians’ disregard for public safety, people’s life and science, and obsession with conspiracy theories and ‘political viruses.’” She called these accusations “Last-day Madness” of “Mr. Liar.”

She added, “It is based on neither science nor facts to claim that the novel coronavirus comes from a lab or that the WIV has a secret military background. The ideas and information in this so-called fact sheet are contradictory and full of mistakes.”

The US Department of State released a fact sheet on January 15 linking the origin of COVID-19 with the operations at Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in collusion with Chinese military. This raised the suspicions of the COVID-19 being a biological weapon.

The fact sheet released by the Department of State stated, “Despite the WIV presenting itself as a civilian institution, the United States has determined that the WIV has collaborated on publications and secret projects with China’s military. The WIV has engaged in classified research, including laboratory animal experiments, on behalf of the Chinese military since at least 2017.”