The Biden administration has criticized China’s decision to impose sanctions on Trump administration officials Wednesday just minutes after Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States.
Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was among the 28 people who China’s Foreign Ministry said “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.”
Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying denounced Pompeo as a “clown” Thursday during a briefing with reporters Thursday in Beijing.
China also placed sanctions on former president Donald Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro, former national security adviser Robert O’Brien, and O’Brien’s predecessor, John Bolton.
The ministry said the sanctioned individuals and their immediate family members “are prohibited from entering the mainland of China, Hong Kong and Macao.” It also said they and entities associated with them are banned from conducting business with China.
Emily Horne, spokeswoman for President Biden’s National Security Council, criticized the sanctions as an “unproductive and cynical move” in a statement issued to Reuters. Horne said Biden “looks forward to working with leaders in both parties to position America to out-compete China.”
Chinese-U.S. relations deteriorated sharply after Trump enacted tariffs against Chinese products sold in the U.S. shortly after entering the White House.