US denounces ‘cynical’ Chinese sanctions on Trump officials

Published January 22, 2021, 9:00 AM

by Noreen Jazul

Joe Biden’s administration on Thursday slammed China’s “cynical” move on the new US president’s inauguration day to sanction nearly 30 officials from Donald Trump’s outgoing government, including his secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

In this file photo US Secretary of States Mike Pompeo listens as US President Donald Trump speaks during the daily briefing on the novel coronavirus, Covid-19, in the Brady Briefing Room at the White House on April 8, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to Beijing, “some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China… have planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy movies.”

As a result, China decided to sanction 28 people “who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

The officials and their family members will be prohibited from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.

“Imposing these sanctions on Inauguration Day is seemingly an attempt to play to partisan divides,” Emily Horne, the spokeswoman for the National Security Council, told AFP.

“It won’t work,” she said. “Americans of both parties oppose this unproductive and cynical move.

“President Biden looks forward to working with leaders in both parties (Democratic and Republican) to position America to out-compete China,” she added.

Biden’s secretary of state nominee Antony Blinken said Tuesday he backed Pompeo’s hardline stance on China.

“We can outcompete China,” Blinken said, adding he considers the rival global superpower to be “the most significant challenge” to the US.