China imposes sanctions on Pompeo, other Trump admin officials

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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