Sen. Tom Cotton responds to China’s decision to sanction him

WASHINGTON — A defiant GOP Sen. Tom Cotton said Tuesday he would never stop fighting for victims of the Chinese Communist Party after the Chinese government announced it was sanctioning him.

On Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry slapped a number of Republican lawmakers — including Sens. Cotton of Arkansas, Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida, Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania and Josh Hawley of Missouri — with sanctions because they “behaved egregiously on Hong Kong-related issues.”

But in a Fox News op-ed Tuesday, Cotton said he was not afraid of the Chinese dictatorship and would keep fighting the nation’s human rights abuses.

“These toothless sanctions won’t have much effect on me, but that’s because they were never about me in the first place,” he wrote.

“They’re meant to scare potential critics of the Chinese Communist Party into shameful silence and even complicity. The message is clear: the Party is always watching and ready to punish its enemies.”

The fresh sanctions on 11 US citizens appear to be a retaliatory move after President Trump on Friday sanctioned Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam and other officials, freezing their assets and banning them from doing business in the US.

Cotton railed against the CCP’s herding of ethnic Uighurs into concentration camps; the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have died from the coronavirus outbreak, which began in Wuhan; and the Americans who die each year from fentanyl overdoses.

“Here at home, the CCP’s victims include hundreds of thousands of dead Americans who overdosed on fentanyl made in loosely regulated Chinese superlabs; their fatal doses, and the grief of their loved ones, can be traced back to China and its cynical leaders who allow these drug rings and the carnage they cause to continue,” Cotton wrote.

The Republican lawmaker has emerged as one of the biggest China hawks in Congress and last week introduced a measure that would ban Chinese-owned companies in the US from receiving PPP funding.

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