The US imposed additional visa restrictions on Chinese officials over human rights abuses as the administration ramps up punitive actions against Beijing in the final month of President Trump’s term.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced the enhanced restrictions against Chinese officials responsible for or taking part in repressing religious and ethnic minority groups, dissidents, journalists and peaceful protesters.
“China’s authoritarian rulers impose draconian restrictions on the Chinese people’s freedoms of expression, religion or belief, association, and the right to peaceful assembly. The United States has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these are not welcome in our country,” Pompeo said in a statement.
Family members of those officials may also be subject to the additional restrictions, he said.
China retaliated on Tuesday by imposing reciprocal actions against US officials and calling for Trump not to sign legislation that calls for establishing a US consulate in Tibet.
“China has taken reciprocal countermeasures against the U.S. individuals and their family members who are primarily responsible for recent interference in China’s internal affairs,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said.
Pompeo said the US had already put visa restrictions and financial sanctions on Chinese Communist Party officials over the “horrific abuses” involving the Uighurs in Xinjiang, access to Tibet and treatment of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.
“Today’s action creates additional restrictions applicable to all CCP officials engaged in such repressive activities, no matter their location,” the statement said.
Relations between Beijing and Washington are at a low point as the world’s top two economies grapple over the response to the coronavirus pandemic, trade issues, China’s strict national security law for Hong Kong, its threatening behavior toward Taiwan and vast espionage.
With Post wires