China declares bid to uphold rights of firms against US sanctions
Iran Press TV
Wednesday, 09 December 2020 10:34 AM
Tension between the Chinese and American governments seems to be nowhere near the end. Beijing has reacted to Washington's blacklisting of its companies and ships over accusations of defying sanctions against North Korea, saying China is sure to adopt measures to sustain the rights of the targeted firms.
Addressing a press briefing on Wednesday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made it clear that China would confront unilateral sanctions imposed by any country, insisting that Beijing had done all it could to satisfy United Nations Security Council resolutions.
The outgoing administration of US President Donald Trump unveiled yet another anti-China measure on Tuesday, with the Treasury Department declaring new sanctions against six companies -- including several based in China â€“ and four cargo ships allegedly involved in the "illicit" export of North Korean coal.
Also earlier this week, Washington sanctioned a number of Chinese officials whom it accused of having a role in the disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong.
The hawkish US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made the announcement on Monday, claiming that the individuals were targeted for "developing, adopting, or implementing" Beijing's National Security Law.
The legislation is part of measures aimed at restoring calm to the semi-autonomous city following months of Western-backed anti-government protests last year.
The sanctions targeted 14 vice-chairpersons of China's parliament, the National People's Congress, describing them as Specially Designated Nationals, who would not be allowed to travel to the US.
Beijing blasted the move as "hysterical political bullying," saying it was in clear violation of "international law and the basic norms governing international relations."
In another sign of escalation, the US State Department terminated five cultural exchange programs with China last week, referring to them as "soft power propaganda tools."
The top US spy chief, in incendiary remarks last week, also accused China of preparing for "an open-ended period of confrontation with the US."
In an article published Thursday in The Wall Street Journal, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe described China as "the greatest threat to democracy and freedom worldwide since World War II."
"The intelligence is clear: Beijing intends to dominate the US and the rest of the planet economically, militarily and technologically," he stated.
China and the US have been involved in disputes over a range of issues including trade, the South China Sea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the coronavirus pandemic.
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