US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman originally wanted to ease tensions between the US and China during her mission. But shortly before her arrival in Tianjin on Sunday, Beijing added fuel to the fire, making her mission all the more difficult. In retaliation for punitive measures taken by the US against representatives of the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, the Chinese leadership has imposed sanctions on seven individuals and institutions in the US, according to state media reports. Among those affected are former US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Carolyn Bartholomew, chairwoman of the U.S.-China Economic AND Security Review Commission (USCC). The NGO Hong Kong Democratic Council and Sophie Richardson of Human Rights Watch are also blacklisted.
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