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China slaps sanctions on US officials and cancels visa exemptions for diplomats in an ‘equal counterattack’ over Hong Kong

Speaking on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that Beijing will bring measures against American officials and individuals in what she described as an “equal counterattack.” 

China has decided to impose equal sanctions against responsible US government officials, congressional personnel, non-governmental organizations and immediate family members in relation to the Hong Kong issue.

The new measures will also hit US diplomats working in Hong Kong and Macau. 

Hua urged the US to immediately stop interfering in China’s domestic affairs, most notably in Hong Kong, and “not go further down a wrong and dangerous road.” 

The move comes in response to Washington’s imposition of financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 Chinese officials on Monday. 

US sanctions targeted Chinese individuals who have played a role in the adoption of national security law and the disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong. 

Relations between Washington and Beijing have deteriorated throughout the year with both sides reciprocating the imposition of sanctions and engaging in a high-stakes war of words.

On Wednesday, Beijing blasted Washington’s “long-arm jurisdiction” and interference in domestic affairs after the US Treasury sanctioned Chinese companies shipping North Korean coal.

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