The people targeted by the Chinese sanctions are six Republican lawmakers, namely Senators Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley and Pat Toomey and Representative Chris Smith, as well as members of nonprofits and rights organizations.

“In response to the United States’ misconduct, China has decided to impose sanctions on people who have behaved inappropriately on issues related to Hong Kong,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday.

He did not specify what the sanctions were.

Relations between the world’s two largest economies have deteriorated sharply in recent months, in trade, Hong Kong and China’s handling of the coronavirus epidemic.

On Friday, the United States imposed sanctions on Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam and former and current police chiefs.

US lawmakers sanctioned by China on Monday were among the most vocal critics of Beijing’s new national security law in Hong Kong in late June.