President Biden has officially begun his White House tenure, but the Trump administration is still very much in the news.
Shortly after Biden was sworn in Wednesday, China's ministry of foreign affairs announced that dozens of former Trump administration officials and allies have been sanctioned and barred, along with their immediate family members, from entering mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao. The list includes former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien, former Deputy National Security Adviser Matthew Pottinger, former trade adviser Peter Navarro, and former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. O'Brien's predecessor, John Bolton, and former White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon will also face sanctions, among others.
The decision is seemingly related to the tensions, which were exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic, between Beijing and Washington during the final year of former President Donald Trump's term.
"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," a statement from Beijing's foreign ministry reads. Tim O'Donnell