China sanctions 28 former Trump administration members

China is to sanction more than two dozen officials and members of former President Donald Trump’s cabinet.

This includes his secretary of state Mike Pompeo, for violating the country’s “sovereignty”, the country’s foreign ministry said.

“China has decided to sanction 28 persons who have seriously violated China’s sovereignty,” the foreign ministry said in a statement as Trump’s successor President Joe Biden was inaugurated in Washington.

Beyond Pompeo, those sanctioned include Trump trade advisor Peter Navarro, national security advisor Robert O’Brien, assistant secretary for East Asian and Pacific affairs David Stilwell, health secretary Alex Azar and UN envoy Kelly Craft. 

Beijing also sanctioned former Trump national security advisor John Bolton and former advisor Stephen Bannon.

“These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland of China, Hong Kong and Macao. They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China,” the ministry statement said.

Relations between Beijing and Washington have dramatically worsened in recent years.

It comes as President Biden’s picks to lead economic and foreign policy have signalled they would not let up on Washington’s efforts to combat China’s trade abuses, an area of common ground with Trump, who over the past four years unleashed a trade war that imposed billions of dollars in punitive tariffs on Chinese goods.

“The Chinese government is firmly resolved to defend China’s national sovereignty, security and development interests,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in its statement.

President Biden’s treasury pick Janet Yellen and State Department nominee Antony Blinken have indicated the new administration’s commitments to promoting investments to make American firms and workers more competitive against Beijing.