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U.S. issues additional visa restrictions on Chinese officials

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U.S. issues additional visa restrictions on Chinese officials

The U.S. on Monday imposed additional visa restrictions on Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuses. In which is taking further action against China within the final month of U.S. President Donald Trump’s term.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the restrictions affected officials believed to be liable for or complicit. Especially in repressing religious practitioners, ethnic minority groups, dissidents and others.

U.S.’ comments

“China’s authoritarian rulers impose draconian restrictions on the Chinese people’s freedoms of expression, religion or belief, association. Therefore, the right to peaceful assembly. The U.S. has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these aren’t welcome in our country,” he said during a statement.

U.S.-China relations have plunged to their worst level in decades as the world’s top two economies spar over issues. Starting from the coronavirus outbreak, Beijing’s national security law for Hong Kong, trade and espionage.

On Friday, Washington added dozens of Chinese companies, including top chipmaker Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. Also drone manufacturer SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd, to a trade blacklist.

Also on Monday, U.S. Department of homeland security chief Chad Wolf said they have been observing further restrictions on China. In which he called an ever-increasing threat to the us.

Wolf told the Heritage Foundation think tank these included tighter visa curbs on Chinese Communist Party members. Adding a broader ban on goods made with forced labor. He said DHS was also reviewing the activities of Chinese television maker TCL Electronics Holdings.

Wolf noted a State Department action this month to cut back the validity of U.S. visas for members of China’s ruling political party to one month.

“We’re working with State to contemplate further restrictions on visa validity periods for CCP members,” he added.

He said DHS was “continuing to develop and hoped to soon issue” a region-wide ban covering “key categories of products produced with forced labor” in China’s Xinjiang region.

Wolf didn’t elaborate, but he was apparently touching on a broad import ban on all cotton and tomato products from Xinjiang. The Trump administration considered this year before choosing narrower bans on products from specific entities.

U.S. apparel makers have criticized a broader ban as impossible to enforce.

China’s response

China condemned the U.S. measures.

“We will take countermeasures in response. We’ll take measures against those that are liable for harming our bilateral relations,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a daily conference in Beijing on Tuesday.

Wolf said DHS would soon issue a business advisory cautioning against using data services and equipment from firms linked to China. He also said it had been “reviewing entities like the Chinese manufacturer TCL,” the world’s third largest manufacturer of TV sets.

Wolf said it had been discovered this year that the firm had “incorporated backdoors. Including into all its TV sets, exposing users to cyber breaches and data exfiltration.”

Wolf said DHS would soon release a “Strategic Action plan to counter the People’s Republic of China” that would draw on Trump’s 2017 national security strategy. Also a 2020 document laying out a U.S. strategic approach to Beijing. He failed to elaborate on this.

 

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