Joe Biden has become the President of the United States, and China already seems to be having a field day.
Within mere minutes of Biden being sworn in, the Chinese government announced the implementation of economic sanctions against 28 former Trump officials and their families. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs justified this action with the claim that these former officials had undertaken “crazy actions that have gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs.”
Who Has Been Targeted?
One of those targeted has been former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Another has been Peter Navarro, one of Trump’s principal trade advisors and one of the driving forces behind Trump’s tariff policy against China and the resulting trade war that that policy ignited.
Other officials mentioned include Alex Azar, Kelly Craft, Keith Krach, David Stilwell, Robert O’Brien, Matthew Pottinger and former Trump cabinet members John Bolton and Steve Bannon.
What Do the Sanctions Consist of?
After listing off the above-mentioned individuals, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that they, “and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China. They and companies and institutions assisted with them are also restricted from doing business with China.”
The Expected Backlash
This move by the Chinese is hardly surprising. The Trump Administration’s hard-line policy against China involved everything from sanctioning them with tariffs on key products to accusing them of committing human rights violations against Uyghur Muslims, stealing American intellectual property, spying on American citizens, engaging in unfair trade practices and lying to the world about the initial severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It was expected — especially given his and his family’s close business ties with many Chinese forms — that Biden would take a much softer stance on China.
Mike Pompeo did not even mention that the Chinese had placed these sanctions against him. The day before they were issued, he accused the Chinese government of committing genocide against the Uyghurs. The other sanctioned officials appear to be similarly defiant and unconcerned.