US Imposes Additional Travel Restrictions On Chinese Officials

( More visa restrictions have been placed on Chinese officials.

On Monday, the United States announced these further restrictions. The allegations against the officials surround human rights abuses. China said it would retaliate for these most recent sanctions.

According to Mike Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, the restrictions are on Chinese officials that U.S. officials believe are either directly responsible for or are complicit in repressing ethnic minority groups, religious practitioners, dissidents and many more people.

In a statement, Pompeo said:

“China’s authoritarian rules 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.”

These sanctions are just the latest chapter in a storyline between China and the U.S. that continues to get worse. The two countries have sparred recently over China’s national security laws in Hong Kong, espionage, trade and the coronavirus pandemic.

Last Friday, the U.S. added dozens of companies from China to a trade blacklist. Included in that were SZ DJI Technology Co. Ltd., which manufactures drones, and Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp., which is one of the top chipmakers in the world.

But, the restrictions on companies and sanctions on officials probably won’t stop there. Chad Wolf, the chief of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, said the department was looking into the possibility of even more restrictions on China. The country, he said, is an “ever-increasing threat” to America.

In fact, Wolf told the think tank Heritage Foundation that the thinking is including more tighter visa curbs on members of the Chinese Communist Party as well as a much broader ban on any goods that are produced by forced labor.

He also said the department was revising activities of TCL Electronics Holdings, which is a Chinese maker of televisions. He further pointed out the State Department took action recently to limit the validity of U.S. visas for members of the Communist Party in China to only one month.

He said:

“We’re … working with State to consider further restrictions on visa validity periods for CCP members.”

DHS is “continuing to develop and hoped to soon issue” a ban that would be region-wide, covering “key categories of products produced with forced labor” in the Xinjiang region of China, Wolf said.

China has condemned all these actions that the U.S. has taken. Wang Wenbin, a foreign ministry spokesman, said at a daily news conference held in Beijing on Tuesday:

“We will take countermeasures in response. We will take measures against those who are responsible for harming our bilateral relations.”

In the near future, DHS will release a “Strategic Action Plan to counter the People’s Republic of China,” Wolf said. It will draw on President Donald Trump’s national security strategy released in 2017, and another document that this year laid out America’s strategic approach to China.

Wolf provided no further details on this at this time.