China has hit former Trump administration officials with a round of sanctions over their critical stance of China’s handling of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong, and its involvement with forced labour in the province of Xinjiang.
On Wednesday, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it would be sanctioning 28 Americans, including former National Security Advisor John Bolton and outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“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,” wrote the Chinese Foreign Ministry in an official statement.
“The Chinese government is firmly resolved to defend China's national sovereignty, security and development interests. 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,” it continued.
Other members of the Trump administration who will be sanctioned include Peter Navarro, Robert C. O’Brien, David R. Stilwell, Matthew Pottinger, Alex Azar, Keith Krach, and Kelly Craft.
China has also sanctioned Steve Bannon, former advisor to the Trump administration, who has been vocal in his criticism of China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims on his Bannon’s War Room podcast. China declined to release a full list of the 28 people it sanctioned.
The sanctions follow President Joe Biden’s inauguration, effectively preventing members of the former administration from issuing retaliatory actions against Chinese officials.
On Tuesday, the last full day of the Trump administration, Pompeo declared that China has committed “crimes against humanity” and defined China’s treatment of Uyghurs as “genocide.”