China to impose sanctions on Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio among others
Reuters are reporting that China has announced “corresponding sanctions” against the US after the Trump administration penalised senior Chinese officials over the treatment of minority Uighur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang.
The sanctions target Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, Rep. Chris Smith, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback, and the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China.
Rubio and Cruz have both sponsored legislation that would punish China’s actions in Xinjiang. Smith has also been a vocal critic of China on issues ranging from Xinjiang to Hong Kong and the coronavirus.
China’s move comes as relations between the world’s two biggest economic powerhouses have slumped over disagreements on issues including the coronavirus pandemic, trade, Huawei and a sweeping national security law imposed on Hong Kong.
“The US actions seriously interfere in China’s internal affairs, seriously violate the basic norms of international relations and seriously damage Sino-US relations,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters.
“China will make further responses based on how the situation develops.”
Hua did not elaborate.
UN experts and activists say at least a million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in detention centres in Xinjiang. China denies this, and describes them as training centres helping to stamp out terrorism and extremism and give people new skills.
Several news outlets are reporting the political attack on Dr Anthony Fauci, saying that a White House official released a statement saying that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.”
The statement then went on to list a number of things that Fauci said early on in the coronavirus outbreak that were either proved not to be true by further scientific discovery, or which Fauci has changed his position on. It resembled the kind of opposition research you would more usually do on a political opponent, rather than one of your chief medical experts.
Donald Trump himself directly criticised Fauci on television last week, saying “Dr. Fauci is a nice man, but he’s made a lot of mistakes”
A couple of days ago Fauci revealed that he had not briefed the president in two months. Trump is unable to directly fire Fauci.
The anonymous White House aide criticised Fauci for suggesting that people with no symptoms were unlikely to play a significant role in spreading the virus, and his public statement in February as the US was experiencing its earliest cases that “at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis.”
According to the Washington Post, Fauci was supposed to make several media appearances towards the end of last week which were cancelled by the White House.
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