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China imposes sanctions on Pompeo, other Trump admin officials

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The Chinese government on Wednesday slapped fresh sanctions on outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and 27 other officials from now-former President Donald Trump‘s administration.

These sanctions come after Pompeo announced Saturday that restrictions on U.S. diplomatic channels with Taiwan—officially known as the Republic of China—will be lifted. Since the end of its intermittent, decades-long civil war in 1949, communist mainland China—officially the People’s Republic of China—has claimed sovereignty over the island nation.

In response to this move by Pompeo, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced Monday that it would impose sanctions on U.S. officials who have engaged in “nasty behaviour” regarding Taiwan, Reuters reported.

“Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China and showing no regard for the interests of the Chinese and American people, have planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-U.S. relations,” the China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in its statement, per CNBC.

“China has decided to sanction 28 persons who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues,” the statement also said.

Other notable officials hit with these sanctions are former National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, former national security adviser John Bolton, Trump’s former chief strategist Stephen Bannon, and former trade adviser Peter Navarro.

This list of significant Trump administration officials that were sanctioned Wednesday extends to former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger, assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell, and under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach.

“These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs wrote in its statement. “They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China.”

These sanctions were also imposed the day after Pompeo issued a scathing declaration accusing China of committing “genocide” against Uighur Muslims in its northwestern Xinjiang region. In its Wednesday statement, the Ministry called him a “doomsday clown” and said Pompeo labeling China and its ruling party, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as a perpetrator of genocide and crimes against humanity was merely “a piece of wastepaper,” according to the Associated Press.

RELATED: Rep. Clyburn refuses to comment on State Dept. saying China is committing ‘genocide’ against Uighur Muslims

President Joe Biden has nominated his longtime foreign policy advisor Antony Blinken to serve as his secretary of state. Blinken is currently going through confirmation hearings in the U.S. Senate. In the meantime, Biden has chosen career diplomat David Smith to serve as acting secretary of state until Blinken is confirmed by the Senate, which is generally expected to happen.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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U.S. Commerce Department: Chinese firms are supplying Russian entities

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On Tuesday, the United States Commerce Department said several companies in China are supplying Russia’s military. The announcement was made alongside a “new round of blacklist restrictions for foreign firms aiding Moscow’s war against Ukraine” reports National Review.

“These entities have previously supplied items to Russian entities of concern before February 24, 2022 and continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties after Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” stated an official Commerce Department notice posted to the Federal Register.

“Commerce also blacklisted several Chinese companies and Chinese government research institutes for their work on naval-technology and supplying Iran with U.S. tech in a way that harms America’s national security” adds National Review.

Six companies that are helping further the Russian invasion are also based in Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

National Review reports:

The Commerce Department stopped short of blaming the Chinese government for the sanctions-evasion activity it identified today. Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo previously said that there doesn’t appear to be any “systemic efforts by China to go around our export controls.” The Biden administration has publicly and privately warned Beijing against supporting the Russian war, with White House officials even leaking to the press about an effort to present China’s ambassador in Washington with information about Russian troop movements ahead of the invasion.

While Beijing has not expressed outright support for the invasion, it has used its propaganda networks to back Moscow’s narrative. Meanwhile, top Chinese and Russian officials have moved to solidify the “no-limits” partnership they declared in early February. General secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a call this month, marking the construction of a new bridge between their two countries, during which they reiterated their support for the burgeoning geopolitical alignment.

National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that the U.S. has no indications that Beijing has provided Russia with military equipment. A Finnish think tank, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, estimated on June 12 that Chinese imports of Russian oil since the outset of the conflict have amounted to $13 billion, making China the biggest consumer of the country’s oil exports. Previously, it was Germany. “While Germany cut back on purchases since the start of the war, China’s oil and gas imports from Russia rose in February and remained at a roughly constant level since,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted.

Official advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted incredible video of Ukrainian soldiers sweeping through fields, writing “this is how our fields are de-mined so that farmers can harvest crops.”  On Monday a Russian missile struck a mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where over 1,000 civilians were inside.

“Almost two dozen people were still missing Tuesday one day after a Russian airstrike struck a Ukrainian shopping mall and killed 18 civilians inside…On top of the 18 dead and 21 people missing, Ukrainian Interior Minster Denis Monastyrsky said 59 were injured. Several of the dead were burned beyond recognition” reported the New York Post.

 

 

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