China sanctions U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, other officials in retaliation for U.S. sanctions

Texas Tribune

The move comes after the Trump administration sanctioned Chinese officials last week over alleged human rights abuse against ethnic and religious minorities in Xinjiang.

FILE- In this Jan. 21, 2020 file photo, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Cruz is working on a book, to be published in October, about the Supreme Court. Regnery Publishing announced Monday, May 11 that the Texas Republican would draw upon his long legal background to provide an inside look at key court decisions. The new book is called “One Vote Away.” (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana, File)

China sanctions U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, other officials in retaliation for U.S. sanctions” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

China announced Monday it is issuing sanctions against U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and four other U.S. officials for “interfering in China’s internal affairs,” a move that drew a dismissive reply from Cruz.

The announcement came days after the United States issued sanctions against three Chinese officials for Beijing’s human rights abuses against ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region. Details on the sanctions against Cruz have not been disclosed.

Cruz, who is a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in a Monday statement that he does not plan on traveling to the “authoritarian regime that covered up the coronavirus pandemic and endangered millions of lives worldwide.”

“The Chinese Communist Party is terrified and lashing out,” Cruz’s statement reads. “They forced over one million Uighurs into concentration camps and engaged in ethnic cleansing, including horrific forced abortions and sterilizations. These are egregious human rights atrocities that cannot be tolerated.”

The U.S. officials being targeted are Sam Brownback, the Trump administration’s ambassador for international religious freedom, and three members of the U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission on China, including Cruz, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, and U.S. Rep. Chris Smith, R-New Jersey.

On Thursday, the Trump administration banned three Chinese Communist Party senior officials and their family members from entering the U.S. The Chinese officials being sanctioned allegedly targeted Uighur Muslims, a population indigenous to Xinjiang, and other ethnic and religious minorities in the region, according to the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control.

“Xinjiang affairs are China’s internal affairs, and the U.S. has no right to interfere in them,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing, according to the Washington Post. “We urge the United States to immediately withdraw its wrong decision.”

Cruz applauded the Trump administration’s actions Friday in a tweet saying it was a much needed move.

“We must continue to hold Chinese government officials accountable for their egregious human rights atrocities against the Uighurs & other minorities,” Cruz tweeted.

This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at

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