Chief Executive Carrie Lam on Tuesday welcomed Beijing's plan to introduce a law countering foreign sanctions, saying China is only engaging in "tit for tat".
At her media briefing before this week's Executive Council meeting, Lam was asked about remarks on sanctions made by Sing Tao Daily boss Charles Ho.
He had said on a radio programme that the "whole of Hong Kong" has been sanctioned because the chief executive ignored people's advice over her ill-fated extradition bill.
Lam didn't say if she agreed with Ho's comment, but instead referred to news of the mainland's move to formulate a specific law to counter "discriminatory measures by a foreign country".
The CE said that after having personally been hit with sanctions, she and the SAR government "welcome and support" the planned new law.
"We are just opposing sanctions from foreign governments. Our country doesn't take the lead and of course our country has to respond to such moves, giving tit for tat," she said.
Lam said all Chinese people who defend the country's sovereignty, dignity and core interests should express strong indignation over foreign sanctions.
The CE is among numerous Hong Kong and mainland officials who have been slapped with sanctions by the US over the national security law which Beijing imposed on the SAR last year.