Minutes after Joe Biden was sworn in as the new President of the United States, China imposed sanctions against former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and 27 others associated with the previous Trump administration for promoting and executing "crazy moves", which "gravely" undermined its interests.
The sanctions were announced late Wednesday night by the foreign ministry.
Besides Pompeo, the list included Trump's economic advisor Peter K Navarro, national security advisor Robert C O'Brien, former White House chief strategist Stephen K Bannon, human services secretary Alex M Azar and UN ambassador Kelly D K Craft.
The list also included David R Stilwell, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs; former Deputy National Security Advisor Matthew Pottinger; Keith J Krach, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment; and former national security advisor John Bolton.
"These individuals and their immediate family members are prohibited from entering the mainland, Hong Kong and Macao of China. They and companies and institutions associated with them are also restricted from doing business with China," foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a press release.
The sanctions were announced immediately after Biden was sworn in as president, ending Trump's regime during which China-US ties touched a new low over various issues, including trade, human rights, the origins of the novel coronavirus pandemic and the communist giant's aggressive military moves in the disputed South China Sea.
The Trump administration had also announced sanctions against a host of Chinese officials responsible for the crackdown in Hong Kong, Tibet and Xinjiang.
"Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the US, out of their selfish political interests and prejudice and hatred against China and showing no regard for the interests of the Chinese and American people, have planned, promoted and executed the crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China's internal affairs, undermined China's interests, offended the China," Hua told a media briefing here on Wednesday, announcing the sanctions.
"The Chinese government is firmly resolved to defend China's national sovereignty, security and development interests," she said.
China particularly targeted Pompeo, a bitter critic of Beijing and the ruling Communist Party of China. Pompeo's last act was to hit China with new sanctions by declaring that Beijing's policies on Muslims and ethnic minorities in western Xinjiang Province constitute a "genocide".
Reacting to the genocide charge, Hua said, "Pompeo's venomous lies in the past several years are too numerous to be counted, and the matter you mentioned is only one of those ludicrous fabrications. To us, Pompeo's so-called determination is nothing more than a piece of waste paper."
"This notorious liar and cheater is making himself a doomed clown and a joke of the century with his show of lies and madness just before the curtain falls," she said.
Underlining that crimes against humanity and genocide are "clearly-defined in international law", Hua said, "China committing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang" is a completely false allegation and a malicious farce fabricated and hyped up by certain anti-China, anti-communist forces, with Pompeo being a "fanatical pioneer".