China hits Pompeo, other Trump officials with sanctions on their way out

China hits Pompeo, other Trump officials with sanctions on their way out

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, seen in March 2020, has declared that China is carrying out
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, seen in March 2020, has declared that China is carrying out genocide against the mostly Muslim Uighur people AFP/ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS

WASHINGTON: China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials, including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, moments after they left office on Thursday (Jan 21).

In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and UN ambassador Kelly Craft.

Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; health and human services secretary, Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon. 

READ: China dismisses Pompeo's Uighur genocide claim as 'outrageous lies'

The sanctions are largely symbolic but underscore Beijing’s antipathy toward a US administration it regarded as hostile.

“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-US relations,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

READ: US intelligence pick warns on China, pledges to stay apolitical

READ: China to sanction US officials for 'nasty' behaviour over Taiwan

On Tuesday, Pompeo announced that he had declared China's repression of Muslim ethnic minorities a “genocide", possibly opening the door to new US sanctions against Chinese officials.

The Trump administration had steadily ramped up pressure on China since last year but had increasingly so over the past several months. During its last weeks in office, the administration had hit numerous officials with sanctions for their actions on Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.

A spokeswoman for President Joe Biden's National Security Council on Wednesday called China's move "unproductive and cynical", urging Americans from both parties to condemn the move.

Source: AP

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