KEY POINTS

  • China imposed travel and business-related restrictions on 28 Trump officials
  • Tagged individuals are barred from traveling to China, Hong Kong and Macau
  • Sanctioned individuals are also banned from doing business with China or companies associated with the Chinese government

The Chinese government on Wednesday slapped sanctions on 28 former Trump administration officials right after President Joe Biden was sworn into office. 

In a statement released just moments after Biden was inaugurated, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs imposed travel bans and business-related sanctions to the ex-Trump officials, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien, U.N. Ambassador Kelly Craft, economic adviser Peter Navarro, diplomat David Stilwell, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon, who also happens to be one of Trump's most high-profile pardons.

In the statement, China’s foreign ministry said they decided to impose sanctions on people who have “violated China’s sovereignty” while being involved in issues between the U.S. and 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-U.S. relations,” the statement read.

 

The sanctions bar the tagged individuals and their immediate family members from traveling to mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao. They're also banned from engaging in business transactions with China and any companies or institutions associated with the Chinese government. 

Also receiving sanctions is John Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser from 2018 to 2019 and the author of books including "The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir," which is highly critical of Trump, and "How Barack Obama Is Endangering Our National Sovereignty," which slams the 44th president. 

However, Bolton celebrated the restrictions imposed against him.

“I've been sanctioned by the Communist Chinese government for 'nasty behavior.' Great news for an inauguration day!  I accept this prestigious recognition of my unrelenting efforts to defend American freedom,” he wrote. 

The Trump administration had taken a hard stance toward China throughout the former president’s term in office. On Tuesday, Pompeo issued a scathing statement accusing China of committing genocide against Muslim Uighurs in the Xinjiang region. 

“I have determined that the People's Republic of China is committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, China, targeting Uighur Muslims and members of other ethnic and religious minority groups,” Pompeo wrote Janet Yellen, the nominee for Treasury secretary, called China the "most important strategic competitor" to the United States Janet Yellen, the nominee for Treasury secretary, called China the "most important strategic competitor" to the United States Photo: AFP / WANG ZHAO