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Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Chinese government imposed sanctions on Monday against six Americans, including former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, in response to an advisory from the Biden administration warning businesses of the increased risks of operating in Hong Kong.

Why it matters: It's the latest example of China responding furiously to U.S. attempts to shed light on human rights abuses in places like Hong Kong, Xinjiang and Tibet, which Chinese officials routinely condemn as "interference" in domestic affairs.

Details: Six Americans and one entity have been sanctioned as a "reciprocal" countermeasure to U.S. sanctions against seven Chinese government officials working in Hong Kong, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry:

  • Former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
  • U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Committee chair Carolyn Bartholomew
  • Congressional-Executive Commission on China former staff director Jonathan Stivers
  • National Democratic Institute's DoYun Kim
  • International Republican Institute associate director Adam King
  • Human Rights Watch China director Sophie Richardson
  • The Hong Kong Democracy Council

What they're saying: "The US has concocted the so-called 'Hong Kong Business Advisory' to groundlessly smear Hong Kong's business environment, and illegally imposed sanctions. ... These acts gravely violate international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely interfere in China's internal affairs," a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

The big picture: A U.S. advisory published last week alerted firms to the "growing risks" of doing business in Hong Kong, where a national security law imposed by the central government in Beijing has decimated the territory's once-lauded political freedoms.

  • The advisory warned of the heightened risk of warrantless electronic surveillance, and it cited the crackdown on pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily as an example of the new dangers of doing business in the city.
  • It came days after a similar advisory was issued for firms with business and operations in Xinjiang, where the Chinese government has been accused of carrying out a genocide against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.

Context: Beijing's sanctions come days before Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman is set to become the highest-ranking Biden administration official to visit China.

Go deeper: Hong Kong's status as a financial center seems safe, for now

Go deeper

Biden to stress U.S. does not seek new Cold War in UN speech

Photo: Al Drago/Getty Images

President Biden will use his first address before the UN General Assembly to lay out his vision for an era of "intensive diplomacy" with allies and "vigorous competition" with great powers — without a Cold War with China.

Why it matters: Biden will take the podium in New York on Tuesday with his own international credibility in question after the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. His administration also is struggling to build international momentum to fight climate change, the pandemic and rising global authoritarianism.

5 mins ago - Health

Other drug companies want to help make the vaccines

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

Generic drug companies have asked Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson to license their COVID-19 vaccine technology to help increase global production, but so far the vaccine makers have given them the cold shoulder.

Why it matters: Other companies are saying they have extra capacity to make more vaccines. Not using that extra capacity could prolong the pandemic throughout the world.

House passes $768 billion defense spending bill

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The House approved a $768 billion National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2022 fiscal year in a bipartisan 316-113 vote on Thursday.

Why it matters: The annual bill, which authorizes Pentagon spending levels and guides policy for the department, would require women to register for the military draft, among other provisions.