The Chinese government has sanctioned several former Trump administration officials, including outgoing US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, accusing them of “seriously violating” China’s sovereignty.
Beijing took the initiative a day after the Trump administration said the crackdown and detention of over a million Muslims Uyghurs in China’s northwestern region of Xinjiang amounted to genocide.
China’s Foreign Ministry said it was sanction 28 people. Targets include Matt Pottinger, the recently resigned deputy national security adviser who has been a major driver of the administration’s hawkish approach to Beijing for the past four years.
They also targeted Robert O’Brien, who was a national security adviser until Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th US president on Wednesday, and John Bolton, who was his predecessor in the top security post.
“In recent years, some anti-Chinese politicians in the United States, due to their selfish political interests, prejudices and hatred against China. . . carried out a series of mad maneuvers that seriously interfered with China’s internal affairs. . . and seriously disrupted Sino-US relations, ”China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Former sanctioned officials and their families would be banned from entering mainland China as well as Hong Kong and Macao, he said, and companies and institutions associated with the 28 targets would also be banned from doing business with China. .
This decision marks the latest deterioration of reports between Washington and Beijing which have reached levels not seen since the establishment of diplomatic relations more than three decades ago.
Mr Biden has vowed to take a firm stand on China and described the Chinese president last year Xi Jinping as a “thug”. He recently appointed Kurt Campbell, a seasoned foreign policy expert, to serve again Asian Tsar, in a move that highlighted China’s growing challenges.
But few experts believe Mr. Biden will be as aggressive as the Trump administration has been, especially over the past year.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement on Wednesday listed only the names of 10 of the Americans who were sanctioned.
They also included Peter Navarro, a Chinese hawk who served as a senior White House trade official, and Steve Bannon, another outspoken critic of China who served as director of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and White House strategist. until he is fired after seven months.
As Mr. Trump left office on Wednesday, he granted a pardon to Mr. Bannon, who had been accused of defrauding hundreds of thousands of Trump supporters who had donated to a fund to build a border wall. Mr Bannon pleaded not guilty last year and was released on bail pending trial.
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