The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced the sanctions in a statement on Wednesday, just as President-elect Joe Biden took office.
The ministry said it had decided to slap sanctions on those US officials who had “planned, promoted and executed a series of crazy moves, gravely interfered in China’s internal affairs, undermined China’s interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-US relations.”
It further said the targeted officials had shown no regard for the interests of the people of China and the US over the past few years out of their selfish political interests and prejudice against China.
The officials also included Trump’s trade adviser Peter Navarro, national security adviser Robert O’Brien, assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs David Stilwell, health secretary Alex Azar, and UN envoy Kelly Craft.
Beijing has also slapped sanctions on another former national security adviser under Trump, John Bolton, and his former strategist Stephen Bannon.
“These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland of China, Hong Kong, and Macao,” the Chinese ministry said. “They, and companies and institutions associated with them, are also restricted from doing business with China.”
“The Chinese government is firmly resolved to defend China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests,” it added.
Pompeo announced a host of measures against China on Monday, over what he called Beijing’s “actions that erode Hong Kong’s freedoms and democratic processes,” as his daysin office were counted.
The former US secretary of state had also openly called for regime change in China.
Meanwhile, China’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying has called on the new US administration to jointly put bilateral relations back on track.
“The severe damage to China-US relations over the past four years was caused precisely because the Trump administration made fundamental mistakes in its strategic perception of China,” Hua said.
The Trump administration “viewed China as its biggest strategic competitor, or enemy, leading to various means to interfere in China’s internal affairs and every effort to suppress, slander, and smear China,” she added.
“I think the new administration should serve the wishes of the people, view China in a rational and objective light, and work with China on the basis of mutual respect, equality, and mutual benefit to put China-US relations back on the track of healthy and stable development as soon as possible,” she said.
This is while Biden has signaled that it will maintain a tough stance toward China.
Under Trump, the United States clashed with China over a range of issues, including trade, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the South China Sea.