China sanctions Pompeo, O’Brien, Azar and other Trump administration officials

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks during a press conference at the Great Hall of the People on June 14, 2018 in Beijing, China.

Lintao Zhang | Getty Images

WASHINGTON – The Chinese government, along with other members of the Trump administration, imposed sanctions on former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien and former Trade Advisor Peter Navarro on Wednesday.

“In recent years, out of selfish political interests, prejudice and hatred of China, and regardless of the interests of the Chinese and American people, some anti-China politicians in the United States have planned, promoted, and carried out a series of insane moves that are have been heavily involved in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, insulted the Chinese people and seriously disrupted China-US relations, “the State Department wrote in a statement.

“China has decided to sanction 28 people who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty and who were primarily responsible for such US actions against China,” the statement also said.

The Chinese government also appointed Former Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger, Former Secretary for Health and Human Services Alex Azar, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, Deputy Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs David Stilwell, and Secretary of State for Economic growth, energy and the environment Keith Krach.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton and Stephen Bannon were also sanctioned on Wednesday.

“These people and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau. They and their affiliated companies and institutions are also prohibited from doing business with China,” the State Department said in a statement.

US President Donald Trump (L) and China’s President Xi Jinping shake hands at a press conference after their meeting outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Artyom Ivanov | TASS | Getty Images

The crumbling relationship between Washington and Beijing deepened under the Trump administration after the world’s two largest economies attempted to improve trade ties.

Chinese State Department spokeswoman Hua previously said the Trump administration was “pushing the accelerator to destroy China-US relations”.

“Certain US politicians are so irresponsible that they say whatever has to be said to target China,” she added last summer.

Their comments followed a glowing speech by then-US Attorney General Bill Barr, in which he accused the Chinese government of human rights abuses, espionage and economic blitzkrieg.

“The People’s Republic of China is now in an economic blitzkrieg – an aggressive, orchestrated campaign by the entire government to conquer the dominant heights of the world economy and surpass the United States as the pre-eminent superpower in the world,” Barr said during a speech on Nov. July.

In June, O’Brien slammed China on a list of criminal offenses before saying that “the days of American passivity and naivete about the People’s Republic of China are over”.

Pompeo, who previously referred to Huawei and other state-backed Chinese companies as “Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence”. In July, Pompeo announced that the US was considering banning TikTok and other Chinese social media apps, citing national security concerns.

The Trump administration has also blamed China for the deadly health crisis caused by the coronavirus.