China on Wednesday said it has decided to sanction 28 members and officials who were part of former United States President Donald Trump’s administration, including his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The announcement came on the day Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president.
“The Chinese government is firmly resolved to defend China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests,” Beijing said in a statement. “China has decided to sanction 28 persons who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such US moves on China-related issues.”
Besides Pompeo, those sanctioned include Trump’s Trade Advisor Peter Navarro, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell, Health Secretary Alex Azar and United Nations envoy Kelly Craft. US Ambassador to the UN John R Bolton and Trump’s former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon were also sanctioned.
Beijing called the American diplomats, “anti-China politicians”, and said that they executed “crazy moves” out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against the country. These actions interfered with Beijing’s interests, internal matters and sovereignty as well as disrupted China-US relations, the statement said.
“These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China,” the ministry said. “They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China.”
Bolton called the sanctions great news. “I accept this prestigious recognition of my unrelenting efforts to defend American freedom,” he tweeted.
China’s move came just after Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony as the president of the United States. Although the new administration is expected to act tough on China, it is likely to commit to international cooperation as opposed to Trump’s “America first” approach, according to AFP.