China has imposed new sanctions on 28 Trump administration officials, including outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a decision made public just minutes after Joe Biden had taken office as the 46th president of the U.S.
In a statement released Wednesday, China's foreign ministry said that the people on the list were those that had "seriously violated" the country's sovereignty and those responsible for unfavorable actions against the government.
Some of the more notable names on the list include former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, former National Security adviser Robert O'Brien, former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft.
People on the list and their immediate family members will be restricted from entering China, Macao, and Hong Kong. The same people will also be restricted from doing any business with China - including any company or institution that is associated with them or their names.
China's foreign ministry described the people on the list as being "anti-China politicians" that have used their "selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China" to undermine the country's interests. The ministry said that these people had also gravely interfered with the country's interest, offended the Chinese people, and disrupted the country's relations with other countries.
The announcement comes just a day after Pompeo issued a strong statement against China for its alleged persecution of Muslim Uigurs and other minority groups in the Xinjiang region.
Last year, the U.S. had imposed sanctions, trade restrictions, and visa bans on several Chinese politicians and Communist Party officials. Under the Trump administration, relations between China and the U.S. have considerably deteriorated. Trump had taken an unusually confrontational approach with China, which only served to worsen the situation.
Biden's stance on China is expected to be less harsh. However, Biden's plans remain unclear. Experts said that China will likely be wary of any sudden changes given the antagonistic actions of the U.S. during the past administration.
"Even if the Biden team moves swiftly to put the U.S.-China relationship back on a less antagonistic track, Beijing will be wary after the dramatic changes of the past four years," analysts said.