January 25, 2021 (LifeSiteNews) – Twenty-eight officials of the Trump administration including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have been sanctioned from entering or doing business with China.
The move comes after Pompeo’s declaration that the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) oppression of Uyghur Muslims in the Xinjiang region is “genocide” and a crime against humanity.
Other names on the list include former Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, former national security advisor Robert O’Brien, and former White House trade advisor Peter Navarro. Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft is also banned from China.
The Foreign Ministry in Beijing said in a statement it had “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 ministry described the 28 individuals as “anti-China politicians” who “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.”
Foreignpolicy.com’s China Brief suggested a further reason for the sanction might include the status of Taiwan, but that the CCP may also be trying to gauge the Biden regime’s position towards China.
“Azar and [former undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy, and the environment Keith] Krach last year visited Taiwan, becoming the highest-level U.S. officials to visit since the United States switched formal relations to China in 1979 from Taiwan,” the Epoch Times reported. “Craft had been scheduled to visit the island last week but ended up speaking to Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen via teleconference instead, when it was canceled due to transition efforts. The high-level visits, as well as the Trump administration’s increased engagement and arms sales to the democratic island, angered Beijing, which views Taiwan as part of its territory.”
President Joe Biden’s pick for Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has previously agreed with Pompeo’s statement about the CCP’s abuse of Uyghurs. Blinken said this while addressing a U.S. Senate hearing on January 19.