Following China’s sanctions of 28 former senior U.S. officials, Sen. Tommy Tuberville is calling upon President Joe Biden to issue an official response. The former U.S. officials, many of whom worked for former President Trump, advanced U.S. interests by directly confronting China’s policies against the international community and its treatment of its own citizens in Hong Kong.
“On January 20th, moments after President Biden took the oath of office, the Chinese Communist Party announced sanctions on 28 former senior U.S. officials,” Tuberville wrote in his letter to Biden. “The CCP claimed these diplomats, cabinet secretaries, and top White House advisors, ‘seriously violated China’s sovereignty and … have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues.’ In reality, these individuals were committed to fight for the interests of the American people while serving in the Trump Administration.”
As highlighted by Tuberville, some of the Trump officials who received sanctions include “former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Kelly Craft, former National Security Adviser Robert O’ Brien, and former White House Office of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Director Peter Navarro, among others. Each of these Americans served our country with honor and distinction,” reported the Washington Free Beacon.
“China’s affront to these public servants and our nation cannot stand,” Tuberville stated. “At your earliest convenience, I would like to discuss the steps the Department of State has taken or intends to take in response to China’s actions. I look forward to working with you on this and other issues.”
In addition to the sanctions against Trump officials, China has sanctioned numerous Republican lawmakers in retaliation against Washington’s criticism of China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Uyghur population in its Xinjiang province. In response, the United States sanctioned Chinese officials and froze their U.S. assets. Washington has also prevented American citizens from conducting business with sanctioned Chinese officials.
In response to Washington’s efforts to penalize China for its treatment of the Uyghurs, Beijing sanctioned Sens. Marcio Rubio, Ted Cruz, Tom Cotton, Josh Hawley, and Pat Toomey. Rep. Chris Smith also received sanctions from the Chinese government.
Instead of addressing China’s ongoing sanctions of U.S. politicians and former high ranking officials, Biden’s first correspondence with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday mentioned only that Biden sent his “well wishes” to “the Chinese people on the occasion of Lunar New Year.”
“President Biden affirmed his priorities of protecting the American people’s security, prosperity, health, and way of life, and preserving a free and open Indo-Pacific,” the White House stated.
“President Biden underscored his fundamental concerns about Beijing’s coercive and unfair economic practices, crackdown in Hong Kong, human rights abuses in Xinjiang, and increasingly assertive actions in the region, including toward Taiwan. The two leaders also exchanged views on countering the COVID-19 pandemic, and the shared challenges of global health security, climate change, and preventing weapons proliferation. President Biden committed to pursuing practical, results-oriented engagements when it advances the interests of the American people and those of our allies.”