China’s Pompeo sanctions could complicate relations with Blinken

China announced sanctions on 28 Trump administration officials including former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, in a move that could complicate relations with Pompeo’s successor Antony Blinken

China’s Pompeo sanctions could complicate relations with Blinken
Chinese sanctions could help former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to promote his anti-China stance. Image: Reuters

(ATF) China announced sanctions on 28 Trump officials on Wednesday January 20 as Joe Biden was inaugurated as president. Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was top of the list of sanctioned officials, which might complicate Chinese relations with his successor Antony Blinken.

A Chinese Foreign ministry statement announced the sanctions on the day President Biden was being sworn into office.

“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-US relations,” the statement said.

“China has decided to sanction 28 persons who have seriously violated China's sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such US moves on China-related issues. They include Michael Pompeo, Peter Navarro, Robert O'Brien, David Stilwell, Matthew Pottinger, Alex Azar II, Keith Krach, and Kelly Craft of the Trump administration as well as John Bolton and Stephen Bannon. These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China. They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China,” the ministry said.

Pompeo has been keen to position himself as a fierce critic of China, and used his final days in office to implement anti-Chinese policies that were designed to complicate foreign policy relations for Biden and his nominee for Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

Pompeo is likely to welcome the sanctioning by China in a similar way to US Senator Marco Rubio, whose Twitter definition starts: “Banned in and sanctioned by China.”

The sanctions will add to the challenges faced by Blinken in helping Biden to chart a new course in US relations with China.

Blinken testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, where he complained about Chinese policies while arguing that the Biden administration will take a different approach to negotiations.

"President Trump was right in taking a tougher approach to China," Blinken said, before adding: "I disagree very much with the way he went about it in a number of areas."

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US-China Trump officials China bans 28 Trump officials Mike Pompeo Peter Navarro Robert O'Brien David Stilwell Matt Pottinger Alex Azar John Bolton Steve Bannon Keith Krach Kelly Craft bilateral ties hit Antony Blinken