China said Wednesday it wanted to work with President Joe Biden’s new US administration, while announcing sanctions against ‘lying and cheating’ outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and 27 other top officials under Donald Trump.
The move was a sign of China’s anger, especially after an accusation made by Pompeo during his last full day of office that China had committed genocide against its Uyghur Muslims.
The assessment is shared by Biden’s choice to succeed Pompeo, Anthony Blinken.
In a conspicuous rejection of his relationship with Washington under Trump, China’s State Department announced the sanctions in a statement that appeared on its website around the time Biden was taking the presidential oath.
Mike Pompeo angered China by accusing the country of genocide against Uyghur Muslims
Pompeo, pictured with State Councilor Yang Jiechi in Beijing in October 2018, was sanctioned by China on Wednesday, accused of “ seriously disrupting China-US relations. ”
John Bolton, Trump’s former national security adviser, was one of 28 individuals
Donald Trump and China’s leader Xi Jinping, pictured in June 2019, had a troubled relationship
Pompeo and the others had “ planned, promoted and carried out a series of crazy actions, had seriously interfered with China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, insulted the Chinese people, and severely disrupted China-US relations, ” said he.
The other outgoing and former Trump officials sanctioned included Chief of Commerce Peter Navarro, National Security Advisers Robert O’Brien and John Bolton, Secretary of Health Alex Azar, UN Ambassador Kelly Craft and former Trump Assistant Steve Bannon.
The 28 ex-officers and immediate family members would be denied entry to mainland China, Hong Kong or Macau, and companies and institutions associated with them should not be allowed to do business with China.
Pompeo and others who were sanctioned did not respond to requests for comment.
The US State Department also did not respond.
Brian O’Toole, a sanctions expert at the Atlantic Council think tank, saw China’s action as retaliation and “political statements more than anything.”
“I suspect that by default they will file more on a case by case basis than a well-defined restriction,” he said.
Peter Navarro, former White House trade adviser, was particularly tough on China
Steve Bannon, in the photo that left court in August after being accused of defrauding donors for a crowdfunding attempt to build the US-Mexico border wall, was also punished
China has imposed sanctions on US lawmakers over the past year, but targeting former and outgoing US officials was an unusual act of disdain.
Pompeo, who unleashed a barrage of measures against China in his last weeks, declared on Tuesday that China had committed “ genocide and crimes against humanity ” against Uyghur Muslims.
Blinken said on Tuesday that he agreed with the assessment.
“Forcing men, women and children to concentration camps; trying to basically re-educate them as adherents to the Chinese Communist Party ideology, that all speaks of an attempt to commit genocide, ”Blinken said.
China has repeatedly rejected allegations of abuse in the Xinjiang region, where at least one million Uyghurs and other Muslims had been held in camps, according to a United Nations panel.
In response to Xinjiang’s allegations, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told a press briefing, “Pompeo has been making so many lies in recent years, and this is just another brutal lie.”
She added: “This American politician is notorious for lying and cheating, makes himself a laughing stock and a clown.”
Hua said China hoped that “the new government will cooperate with China in the spirit of mutual respect, deal well with differences, and develop greater win-win cooperation in more sectors.”
“We hope that the new US administration can have its own reasonable and cold-blooded judgment on Xinjiang issues, among other things.”