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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

Oct 26, 2021 - Technology

FCC votes to halt China Telecom operations in U.S.

A meeting room in the Federal Communications Commission headquarters. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission voted Tuesday to revoke authorization for China Telecom's U.S. subsidiary to operate in America, citing national security concerns.

Why it matters: The state-owned China Telecom is one of the largest telecommunications companies based in China. It has provided services in the U.S. for nearly 20 years but must now cease operations within 60 days.

Surprising pandemic side effect: Soaring trade deficits

Source: Census Bureau and Bureau of Economic Analysis; Chart: Axios Visuals

Inflation and jobs may get all the economic headlines, but meanwhile a big shift is taking place in the underpinnings of the world economy: The U.S. trade deficit is soaring.

What's happening: Americans' spending on imported physical goods has gone through the roof, while exports are growing slowly, making the U.S. the world's consumer of last resort.

Mike Allen, author of AM
1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Third Way: "Big Lie" could become "Big Coup"

Graphic: Third Way

Third Way, the center-left think tank, is urging fellow Democrats to respond to the Capitol riot with "the size, scope, and seriousness of a presidential campaign," co-founder Matt Bennett tells me.

Driving the news: "For the first time in U.S. history, a party must mount two parallel presidential campaigns: one to win the election, and the other to prevent its theft," Bennett said, calling this "a Paul Revere moment."