Senior Republican officials have called on US president Joe Biden to toughen his policy on China, the South China Morning Post reported on Friday.
Senator Jim Risch [R-ID], head of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, tweeted on Friday China's sanctioning of 28 outgoing national security officials would test US president Joe Biden's administration to maintain a "tougher, competitive approach" towards Beijing.
— U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee (@SenateForeign) January 21, 2021
"Together, Republicans & Democrats must show Beijing we will not be deterred from defending U.S. interests," he wrote.
US Rep Michael McCaul [R-TX] also tweeted he was "in disbelief" President Biden would rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement while China was being "let off the hook".
— Michael McCaul (@RepMcCaul) January 21, 2021
"The rash decision to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement threatens U.S. competitiveness & national security while China is let off the hook. I cannot sit by while Texan & American jobs & security are at risk. My bill will require the administration to publicly admit the destructive economic impact of the Paris Climate Agreement & explain why the [White House] thinks those negative impacts should be ignored," he tweeted on Friday.
He added in separate tweets Beijing had shown its true nature after imposing counter-sanctions and the Chinese Communist Party had been “guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide”.
“I strongly urge the Biden administration to quickly condemn these baseless, impotent sanctions and make good on its early commitments to prioritise strategic competition with the [Communist Party],” he said.
The comments come after China slapped sanctions on former US officials, including Mike Pompeo, Peter Navarro, Alex Azar and Robert O'Brien, among many others, just minutes after Biden's inauguration on Wednesday over their role in destabilising ties between Washington and Beijing to historic lows.
Chinese Response To Republican Comments
Officials in Beijing slammed the former officials as having "seriously violated China's sovereignty" and launching a "series of crazy moves" on policy towards the mainland.
Further US sanctions came over Beijing's national security law in Hong Kong aimed at cracking down on violence from separatists operating in the region, leading to countermeasures from Beijing.
“China has pointed out multiple times that these anti-China politicians will pay for their crazy acts. We hope the new US administration will view China and China-US relations in an objective and rational manner,” Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said in a statement.
Replying to the comments, Hua said the Trump administration had imposed thousands of sanctions on China.
“We have long said that unilateral sanctions harm others and hurt oneself, and just like a boomerang, sooner or later it will fly back. McCaul’s comments fully expose how some US politicians only allow the US to engage in arbitrary suppression and do not allow others to justly defend themselves against bullying, hegemony and hegemonic logic,” she said as quoted by the SCMP.
Beijing's response was “completely appropriate and necessary, fully demonstrating the Chinese government’s firm determination to safeguard national interests," she added.
But the news comes as commentators expect the Biden administration to maintain a tough stance on China, namely after comments from Biden's national security advisor Anthony Blinken stated former US president Donald Trump was "right in taking a tougher approach to China" despite disagreeing with how Trump had approached the matter.