China Sanctions US Officials, Including Rubio and Cruz

China Sanctions US Officials, Including Rubio and Cruz
L-Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) in Washington, on June 3, 2020. (Jim Lo Scalzo/AFP via Getty Images); R-Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) on Capitol Hill in Washington on Jan. 29, 2019. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) on Monday sanctioned four American officials and a U.S. entity, days after the U.S. punished CCP officials linked to labor camps in China.

Chinese officials said they were sanctioning Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), and Sam Brownback, the ambassador at large for international religious freedom.

The U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China was also included.

“The Communist Party of #China has banned me from entering the country. I guess they don’t like me?” Rubio said in a social media statement.

Smith, Cruz, and Brownback didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

4 officials sanctioned by CCP
(L-R): Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in Washington on May 5, 2020, Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-Texas) in Washington on June 24, 2020, Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.) in Washington on June 2, 2020, and Sam Brownback, Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom, in Washington on June 10, 2020. (AP Photo)

The White House National Security Council declined to comment.

Members of Congress targeted by the sanctions have vocally opposed the CCP’s treatment of Uyghurs, a Turkic Muslim ethnic group that’s persecuted by the communist regime. At least one million Uyghurs are in labor camps in China.

Uighur Camp
Workers walk by the perimeter fence of a labor camp in Xinjiang, China, on Sept. 4, 2018. (Thomas Peter/Reuters)

Smith this month called for action after a report alleged Beijing was forcibly sterilizing Uyghurs. Rubio and Cruz have pushed legislation that would punish the actions of CCP officials in Xinjiang, where most Uyghurs live.

The U.S. last week announced sanctions against Chen Quanguo, the secretary of the Xinjiang region.

Also sanctioned were Zhu Hailun, a former deputy party secretary of the region; Wang Mingshan, director of the Xinjiang Public Security Bureau; Hyuo Liujun, former party secretary of the bureau; and the bureau itself.

Brownback praised the move, saying it served as “accountability a long time coming.”

The sanctions show the Trump administration “will protect religious freedom at all costs,” he added.

Affairs in Xinjiang are “purely China’s internal affairs,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters on Monday. “The United States has no right or grounds to interfere.”

From The Epoch Times

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