Some U.S. officials and rights groups have been sanctioned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). The political stunt came after Washington isolated seven Beijing officials on July 16.

Former Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross (R), and six other U.S. individuals or entities, will not be welcome in mainland China anymore.

BL understands Ross, who former President Donald Trump appointed to the role, was isolated for expanding the list of Chinese companies that cannot trade with American partners without a prior license. This includes telecom giants Huawei and ZTE.

Others on the CCP’s new sanction list include Human Rights Watch China Director Sophie Richardson, U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission chairwoman Carolyn Bartholomew, International Republican Institute Asia associate director Adam King, and other current and former representatives from a variety of organizations.

The CCP sanctioned the group just days after Washington did the same to seven Beijing officials for undermining Hong Kong democracy. The United States also issued a business advisory for Hong Kong, warning American businesses of the growing risks of operating there.

“The United States has concocted the so-called ‘Hong Kong Business Advisory,’ to groundlessly smear Hong Kong’s business environment, and illegally imposed sanctions on several officials of the Liaison Office of the Central People’s Government in the Hong Kong special administrative region,” China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“These acts gravely violate international law and basic norms governing international relations, and severely interfere in China’s internal affairs,” the ministry added. “China firmly opposes and strongly condemns this.”

These sanctions are the first of their kind to be imposed under the CCP’s anti-foreign sanction law passed in June.

However, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki confirmed the United States is “undeterred” by the CCP’s retaliation.

“These actions are the latest examples of how Beijing punishes private citizens, companies, and civil society organizations as a way to send political signals,” she said in a statement. “[They] further illustrate the PRC’s (CCP’s) deteriorating–deteriorating investment climate and rising political risk.”

The relationship between Beijing and Washington remains strained as they continue to disagree on the CCP Virus’s origins, human rights, cybersecurity, and other issues.

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman (D) is due to visit China to address deteriorating diplomatic ties soon. This is touted to be the most senior official visit under the Biden administration.