Toomey Among 11 U.S. Officials Sanctioned By China
Sen. Pat Toomey and 10 other U.S. citizens were sanctioned by the Chinese government on Monday in response to “escalating geopolitical dispute over the status of Hong Kong,” according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Other lawmakers included in the sanctions were Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Josh Hawley (R-MO), Marco Rubio (R-FL), and Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ).
The AP reports that the Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zheo Lijian said that the 11 Americans sanctioned had “performed baldy” on issues relating to Hong Kong, “where China has cracked down on opposition voices following its imposition of a national security law in the semi-autonomous territory last month.”
Last month, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law Toomey and Sen. Chris Van Hollen’s (D-MD) Hong Kong Autonomy Act.
“The Hong Kong Autonomy Act, which was introduced in response to increasingly brazen interference of the Chinese Communist Party in Hong Kong, would impose mandatory sanctions on entities that violate China’s obligations to Hong Kong under the Joint Declaration and the Basic Law,” according to a release from Toomey’s office on July 14. “The legislation would also impose mandatory secondary sanctions on banks that do business with the entities in violation of the Basic Law.”
Toomey responded to the sanctions from China in a statement on Monday afternoon saying his “response is simple: I stand with the people of Hong Kong.”
“From jailing newspaper publishers, to rigging elections, to dramatically expanding surveillance of Hongkongers, the recent actions of China’s communist leaders prove just how determined they are to stamp out democracy and fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong,” Toomey said in a release on Monday afternoon. “Now China’s communist leaders are sanctioning American lawmakers who have the audacity to point out their egregious violations of longstanding commitments made to the people of Hong Kong in the Basic Law.”
“My response to being sanctioned is simple: I stand with the people of Hong Kong,” Toomey said.
From jailing journalists to throwing pro-Democracy candidates off the ballot, the actions of China’s communist leaders prove just how determined they are to stamp out freedom in #HongKong. My response to being sanctioned is simple: I #StandWithHongKong. https://t.co/R1etwNb3aI
— Senator Pat Toomey (@SenToomey) August 10, 2020