China claimed that the Trump administration officials who were sanctioned had violated Chinese sovereignty, Bloomberg reported.
The sanctions prevent the individuals and their families from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. It also stops the sanctioned and any entities that they are associated with from doing any business with China.
“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 Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.
Bloomberg News senior foreign policy reporter Nicholas Wadhams tweeted that the sanctions were issued at 12.04 pm, only about 15 minutes after Joe Biden took the oath of office making him the 46th President.
Other former members of the Trump administration who were sanctioned on include economic adviser Peter Navarro, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, top diplomat for East Asia David Stilwell, Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth Keith Krach, ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and chief strategist Steve Bannon.
The sanctions are largely symbolic but underscore Beijing’s antipathy toward a US administration it regarded as hostile.
Earlier on Wednesday, China’s Foreign Ministry described Mr Pompeo as a “doomsday clown” and said his designation of China as a perpetrator of genocide and crimes against humanity was merely “a piece of wastepaper".
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a briefing that Mr Pompeo was “notorious for lying and deceiving,” and that he was turning himself into a "joke of the century with his last madness and lies of the century,” after Mr 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.
Pompeo cited forced birth control among Uighurs and forced labour, which has been linked to products imported to the US, including clothing, cameras and computer monitors.
The sanctions come after the Trump administration sanctioned a number of Chinese officials for their actions on Tibet, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the South China Sea.
US-China tensions have been rising throughout the Trump presidency as the two nations engaged in a trade war that cost 245,000 American jobs, Reuters reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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