Washington DC - The United States (US) authorities are implementing additional visa restrictions for Chinese officials regarding alleged human rights violations. This move adds to the crackdown on China towards the end of President Donald Trump's term .
As reported by Reuters on Tuesday (22/12/2020), US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said the restrictions impacted Chinese officials believed to be responsible for or involved in persecuting religious practitioners, ethnic minority groups, dissidents and others.
"China's authoritarian rulers impose harsh restrictions on freedom of expression, religion or belief, association and the right to peaceful assembly belonging to the Chinese people. The United States has made it clear that perpetrators of human rights violations like this are not welcome in our country," Pompeo said in a statement.
The US did not elaborate on additional restrictions, but this month, the US State Department reduced the validity of US visas for members of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to just one month.
US relations with China slumped to its lowest level in recent decades when the world's top two economies at odds on several issues, ranging from the outbreak of the Corona virus (COVID-19), national security laws China to Hong Kong, trade and espionage.
On Friday, US authorities added dozens of Chinese companies, including chipmaker Semicondutor Manufacturing International Corp and drone maker SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, to a trade blacklist.
Meanwhile on Monday (21/12) local time, the head of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad Wolf, said his party was considering further restrictions on China, which he said posed an increasing threat to the US.
At the Heritage Foundation think-tank discussion forum, Wolf said the restrictions include tightening visas for CCP members and a broader ban on Chinese goods made by forced labor. Wolf mentioned that DHS is also reviewing the activities of Chinese television maker TCL Electronics Holdings.
He noted that DHS "is continuing to develop and hopes to soon issue a" region-wide ban covering the "main category of products produced by forced labor" in China's Xinjiang region.
Wolf did not elaborate, but he appeared to be referring to a broad import ban of all cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang that the Trump administration considered, before opting to impose smaller bans on certain entities.
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