Beijing has slapped 28 Trump officials with harsh sanctions – including banning them from China – over "crazy actions that have gravely interfered in China's internal affairs".
The announcement, which came as Joe Biden was being sworn in as the 46th US President, replacing Donald Trump, was released by China's foreign ministry this morning.
The list of targets include close Trump ally and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Adviser Peter Navarro, outgoing National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien and his deputy Matt Pottinger.
"In the past few years, some anti-China politicians in the United States, out of their own political self-interest and prejudice and hatred towards China, have planned and promoted a series of crazy actions, ignoring the interests of the Chinese and American peoples, seriously interfering in China's internal affairs and harming China's interests," the statement reads.
"It hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and severely damaged Sino-US relations," the statement continues.
"The determination of the Chinese government to defend national sovereignty, security and development interests is unwavering."
The announcement went on to reveal China had "decided to impose sanctions on 28 people who have seriously violated China's sovereignty and are primarily responsible for China-related issues, including Pompeo, Navarro, O'Brien, Starwell, Pottinger, and Ahmad in the Trump administration. Zha, Kraqi, Kraft, Bolton, Bannon, etc."
These people and their families have been prohibited from entering the mainland of China, Hong Kong and Macau," it reads.
"They and their affiliated companies and institutions have also been restricted from dealing with and doing business with China."
The officials on China's hit list helped to formulate the Trump administration's tough position towards Beijing. Trump's presidency was marked by tensions and sanctions with the communist state.
In 2018, the stoush between the nations devolved into a full-blown trade war when Trump started to set tariffs and other trade restrictions on China.
President Trump repeatedly blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic, labelling it the "China virus", and this week the situation escalated further when Pompeo declared China had committed "genocide" against the Uighur Muslim people.
"If the Chinese Communist Party is allowed to commit genocide and crimes against humanity against its own people, imagine what it will be emboldened to do to the free world, in the not-so-distant future," Pompeo said, in an apparent reference to the incoming Biden administration.
Pompeo had been a particularly vocal critic of the communist state, describing Huawei and other Chinese companies as "Trojan horses for Chinese intelligence".
He also publicly announced the US was considering banning TikTok and other Chinese social media platforms because of national security fears.
The new sanctions were met with amusement on social media, many users predicting Beijing could target the Trump family next.