Beijing slams US for sanctioning Chinese official for abuses

China says it strongly opposes the Trump administration's decision to sanction a former Beijing police official for his role in a human rights campaigner's death.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Friday that the sanctions against Gao Yan amounted to Washington interfering in China's internal affairs and judicial sovereignty. She added that the U.S. needed to "correct erroneous acts" to avoid damaging bilateral exchanges.

The U.S. Treasury Department this week slapped sanctions on 52 people and entities including Gao under the Global Magnitsky Act. The 2016 law is designed to punish human rights violations and corruption around the world.

Gao oversaw a police branch in 2014 that held veteran human rights activist Cao Shunli. Cao was reportedly denied medical care while in detention and died after six months in captivity.