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China Threatens Retaliation After U.S. Slaps Sanctions on 11 Companies Over Human Rights Abuses

China on Friday vowed a “firm and severe” response to the Trump administration’s decision to levy new sanctions on 11 Chinese companies and individuals over human rights abuses.

The punitive measure would directly target Beijing’s subsidies for industry and high-tech exports, as well as anti-competitive tactics, according to the US Treasury Department.

The affected entities include five Chinese state-owned enterprises and five state-owned banks. Washington has punished China with another set of sanctions, including expelling one Chinese ambassador, but they targeted individuals.

“China’s secondary boycott of U.S. companies and individuals will take a significant toll on the U.S. economy, its security, and its people,” said Matt Pottinger, senior director for Asia and director of China policy at the National Security Council.

China’s Ministry of Commerce, however, warned on Friday that Washington had “isolated” itself and “surrendered to pressure” in response to pressure from the Chinese government.

The list of penalties also notably excluded a member of the Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee, Fan Changlong, who sits on a high-level body overseeing China’s military and oversees a central bank.

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