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Pompeo, 27 more banned from China

By LIA ZHU in San Francisco | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2021-01-21 12:39

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks at the National Press Club in Washington, DC, US, Jan 12, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

China on Wednesday imposed sanctions on 28 American individuals, including former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro and other ex-senior officials.

The sanctions were imposed because they "have seriously violated China's sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such US moves on China-related issues", said China's Foreign Ministry in a statement.

The list also includes former Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar, former national security adviser Robert O'Brien, former US ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, former deputy national security adviser Matthew Pottinger, former national security adviser John Bolton, and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon.

The sanctions prohibit those individuals and their immediate family members from entering the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong and Macao. They and companies and institutions associated with them also are restricted from doing business with China.

"The Americans on the sanction list are well deserved. They are among those most responsible for promulgating the worst lies about China for the purpose of China bashing," said George Koo, a member of the Committee of 100 and a retired international business adviser in Silicon Valley.

"Their action and words have poisoned the bilateral relations between China and the US and will require a concerted effort by both countries over a period of time to undo the damage," he said.

Since former president Donald Trump took office in 2016, his administration took a more confrontational stance toward China. Pompeo was the most prominent among those China hawks.

In his final day in office, Pompeo declared that China "committed genocide" in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region. Over Xinjiang, the Trump administration sanctioned several Chinese officials in July.

"Pompeo has zero credibility. He admitted that as CIA director, he lied, cheated and stole," said Julie Tang, co-founder of Pivot to Peace, an organization dedicated to advocating US-China peace.

"The definition of genocide is the deliberate killing of a large number of people from a particular ethnic group to destroy that group. He presented zero evidence to back up the lie that China is deliberating killing all the Uygurs in Xinjiang," said Tang.

"Before World War II in Europe, there were 9.5 million Jews. The Nazis killed 6 million of them, leaving 3 million behind after the war. Now that is genocide," she said, adding that Xinjiang's population data proves the opposite.

From 2010 to 2018, the population of ethnic minorities in Xinjiang grew by 2.87 million or 22.14 percent, and the Uyghur population there rose from 10.17 million to 12.72 million, up by 2.55 million or 25 percent, higher than the 14 percent growth for the whole population in Xinjiang, according to a statement by the spokesperson of the Chinese Embassy in the US in response to Pompeo's remarks.

"Is that evidence of genocide? What Pompeo said was dangerous and misleading. And he did no service to our country, fanning hate towards China based on lies," said Tang. "We hear he is looking at a run for president in 2024. And lies will not get him there."

On the international arena, Pompeo's "approach and personal style" has "alienated every nation and its leaders and diminished their respect for him", said Koo, who also writes about US-China relations.

"Pompeo does not know the meaning of diplomacy. As the worst excuse for being the US secretary of state, he blunders around the world, making lies and outrageous statements and hopes to accomplish his objectives by intimidation," said Koo.

Prior to Wednesday's sanctions, China had sanctioned other Republican officials in August, including senators Marco Rubio of Florida and Ted Cruz of Texas, over their interference in China's internal affairs.

"The effects (of sanctions) could be economically devastating for these ex-officials who are now looking for jobs in private corporations as consultants." Tang said.

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