The Chinese regime's sanctions against former Trump administration officials is an escalation that must be met with a reciprocal response, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) said Sunday.
"These sanctions against former Trump administration officials are a dangerous and insidious escalation of China's effort to influence American policy," Cotton said on Fox News' "Sunday Morning Futures."
Cotton, who was sanctioned last year, said he initially laughed off the fresh sanctions.
"But these sanctions apply not only to these individuals, they apply to any company or institution that associates with them. Now, this is not designed so much to punish Trump administration officials for taking a tough line on China, but to send a shot across the bow to Biden administration officials," he said.
Many former government officials like to write memoirs. China threatened publishing houses that give contracts to officials they sanctioned with cutting off access to their market for all their books.
Cotton called for the Biden administration to announce reciprocal sanctions. Biden administration officials also need to find out if the China ambassador was involved in it, and, if so, kick him out of the country, the senator said, adding, "We cannot tolerate China trying to influence government officials at the highest levels of American government."
“Americans of both parties should criticize this unproductive and cynical move. President Biden looks forward to working with leaders in both parties to position America to out-compete China,” she added.
The White House hasn't appeared to comment on the sanctions since then. The White House didn't respond to an inquiry on Sunday.