Statement by the International Republican Institute on the Chinese Communist Party’s Announcement of Sanctions on U.S. Citizens

Washington, D.C. – The International Republican Institute (IRI) has taken note of today’s announcement that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) intends to impose sanctions on 11 U.S. citizens, including IRI President Dr. Daniel Twining and IRI Board members Senator Marco Rubio and Senator Tom Cotton, in retaliation for their support of political freedom for Hong Kong. The leaders of the National Democratic Institute, National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and Human Rights Watch were also included in the sanctions announced today. As with the sanctions imposed on IRI and other pro-democracy NGOs in December 2019, the legal implications of today’s action remain unclear.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian announced today’s sanctions just as CCP forces were escalating their crackdown on political freedom in Hong Kong with the arrests of pro-democracy figures, including media executive Jimmy Lai, on charges of violating Hong Kong’s coercive national security law.

“As the CCP seeks to extinguish political freedom in Hong Kong and perpetrates atrocities against the Uighur minority, we grieve with victims of these campaigns of repression,” said Twining. “Today’s sanctions are a naked attempt to deflect attention from these crackdowns, but in fact they only draw focus to the Xi regime’s tragic efforts to subjugate the Chinese people and suppress criticism both within and beyond its borders. We at IRI continue to stand with the people of Hong Kong and mainland China who call for democratic reform and deserve respect for their fundamental human rights.”


A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, the International Republican Institute (IRI) advances freedom and democracy worldwide by helping political parties to become more responsive, strengthening transparent and accountable governance, and working to increase the role of marginalized groups in the political process – including women and youth. More information is available at


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