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Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, pictured at the White House in December, was among the 28 Trump administration officials sanctioned by China.

January 20 ,2021

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China imposed sanctions Wednesday on 28 former Trump administration officials, including outgoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

In a statement released just minutes after President Biden took office, China's foreign ministry said it had decided to sanction those "who have seriously violated China's sovereignty and who have been mainly responsible for such U.S. moves on China-related issues."

The list of names features former Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar; former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro; former national security adviser Robert O'Brien; Kelly Craft, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; and Matthew Pottinger, who recently resigned as deputy national security adviser. Former national security adviser John Bolton and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon were also included.

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

"Over the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, 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 a series of crazy moves which have gravely interfered in China's internal affairs, undermined China's interests, offended the Chinese people, and seriously disrupted China-U.S. relations," the ministry said.

The move comes just one day after Pompeo issued a forceful statement accusing China of committing genocide against Muslim Uighurs and other minority groups in its Xinjiang region, for which the U.S. sanctioned several Chinese officials in July. That was one of numerous instances of sanctions, visa bans and trade restrictions imposed on Chinese politicians and Communist Party officials in the Trump administration's final year.

Relations between the U.S. and China deteriorated considerably under the previous administration, which took an unusually confrontational approach. Pompeo and other officials referred to China as constituting America's greatest threat, as NPR's John Ruwitch has reported.

In fact, Bolton appeared to celebrate the sanction against him, calling it "great news" in a tweet posted Wednesday afternoon.

"I accept this prestigious recognition of my unrelenting efforts to defend American freedom," he wrote.

It is unclear what changes Biden plans, but Ruwitch noted, "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."

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Pompeo slammed for final tweet saying β€˜multiculturalism’ is β€˜not who America is’

January  20 ,2021

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used his final moments in office on Tuesday to trash the American tradition of multiculturalism, tweeting that, β€œWoke-ism, multiculturalism, all the -isms β€” they're not who America is.”

β€œThey distort our glorious founding and what this country is all about,” he added. β€œOur enemies stoke these divisions because they know they make us weaker.”

The comments angered politicians and former diplomats alike, and marked a striking change in tone from past secretaries, who frequently seek to promote tolerance and multiculturalism in their role as the nation’s top diplomat .

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What Pompeo said about multiculturalism

Dear Editor,

The cat is out of the bag and the truth hurts.  That truth uttered by former secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, ought to hurt Guyanese.  This man is a real big hypocrite, a pretender of the highest order.

Mr. Mike Pompeo is the man who came to this poor blighted neighbourhood with all the pomp and power of America behind him and lectured us about democracy, getting things right, and doing things.  This is the same man, who was holier than thou, like the Pharisees and Sadducees of old, but was nothing more than an empty whitewashed tomb.  For there he was on the last official day of an unmentionable president that he served, and he showed his true colours.

In an online article from the Independent dated January 19 and titled, β€œPompeo slammed for final tweet saying β€˜multiculturalism’ is not β€˜who America is’” the secretary is taken to task.  Yet, I say that, at least, the man should be saluted for speaking what is on his mind, and how he sees us coloured folk and our presence in the good ole USA.  I wonder what the resident American Ambassador, Her Excellency Sarah-Ann Lynch has to say about his parting broadside.  Further, I wonder what Guyanese who hung on to his coattails and his every word think about that bit about β€˜multiculturalism’ and presence and place in America.  I am sure that my fellow Guyanese would have no difficulty interpreting what β€˜multiculturalism’ means when spoken by the likes of Mr. Pompeo.

I know I am taking this very far, but the hypocrisy of these characters, who pretend at noble leadership and stirring partnership, but deep down inside are only about colonialism, imperialism, and paternalism, and its cruel exploitative hegemonies over natives and little brown people wherever they may be.  It is okay for us to do their dirty work, but not to be around them.  It is fine for us to give them our natural resource riches but, like wayward children, not to be seen or heard.  I must wonder what His Excellency, President Ali, now thinks and feels about this friend of Guyana and democracy.

As I ponder this last-minute confession from a man who is a former secretary of state, no less, I reflect on how divisive and degrading such a statement is.  How in one sentence and swoop, Mr. Pompeo dismissed the presence and contributions of millions of nonwhite citizens living in America.  In other words, go back to where you came from and now.   It is no surprise that he was so much at home working for a man who was more than a closet racist and worse; that he lasted so long.  This was the senior American diplomat, who spoke sharply from afar about elections integrity and then came to this bitterly divided country to divide it still more.  I am glad the man spoke as he did; at least I know where I stand.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

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