China has announced sanctions against 28 people, including a number of Trump administration officials, after the U.S. State Department labeled the country’s treatment of Uighur Muslims a “genocide” earlier this week.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a Wednesday statement that it has decided to sanction individuals “who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty.”
“Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their selfish political interests and prejudiced and hatred against China … 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,” read the statement.
On the list of those sanctioned are Trump’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, trade advisor Peter Navarro, National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and former White House strategist Steve Bannon.
China said these individuals and their immediate family members have been banned from entering mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao, and have also been restricted from doing business with China either individually or through their companies and institutions.
In one of the last substantive acts of the Trump administration, the U.S. State Department on Tuesday declared that China was carrying out a genocide against the Uighur population in Xinjiang. Uighurs, and other Muslim peoples in this northwestern region of China, have been repressed with brutal practices like internment camps and forced sterilizations. “I believe this genocide is ongoing, and that we are witnessing the systematic attempt to destroy Uighurs by the Chinese party-state,” Pompeo said in a statement, citing “forced assimilation and eventual erasure of a vulnerable ethnic and religius minority group.” The Chinese government has rejected these accusations and the Foreign Ministry on Wednesday described Pompeo as a “doomsday clown.”
“In our view, Pompeo’s so-called designation is a piece of wastepaper. This American politician, who is notorious for lying and deceiving, is turning himself into a doomsday clown and joke of the century with his last madness and lies of the century,” read the statement from Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.