The United States on Monday issued additional visa restrictions on Chinese officials over alleged human rights abuse and accused its ‘authoritarian rulers’ of imposing draconian restrictions on people’s freedoms of expression. In a statement, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said that the United States has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these (China) are not welcome in the country.
“Today, I am announcing the imposition of additional restrictions under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on the issuance of visas for Chinese officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, policies or actions aimed at repressing religious and spiritual practitioners, members of ethnic minority groups, dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists, labor organizers, civil society organizers, and peaceful protestors. Family members of such persons may also be subject to these additional restrictions,” the statement quoted him as saying.
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Pompeo said that the action demonstrates the US government’s decision to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for its increasing repressive activities against the Chinese people.
“This year, the United States has imposed visa restrictions and financial sanctions on CCP officials involved in the horrific abuses taking place in Xinjiang, restrictions on access to Tibet, and the destruction of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy. Today’s action creates additional restrictions applicable to all CCP officials engaged in such repressive activities, no matter their location,” the statement read.
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“US stands with people persecuted by CCP”
Pompeo said that the US stands with the many individuals who have been persecuted by the Chinese rulers for their peaceful efforts to exercise their rights. He named many lawyers including Xu Zhiyong, house church pastors such as Wang Yi, civil society activists such as Huang Qi, Uyghur academics such as Ilham Tohti, democracy advocates like Jimmy Lai, and Tibetan linguists and businesspeople such as Tashi Wangchuk, who have been imprisoned in China.
“We call for their immediate release and urge CCP authorities to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms to which the people of China are entitled under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he added.
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Last week, the US Department of Commerce has added 59 Chinese firms to its export-control Entity List including Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) and SZ DJI Technology Co Ltd for engaging in activities that ‘undermine America’s national security and foreign policy interests’.
The Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) in the Department of Commerce added SMIC to the Entity List due to China’s military-civil fusion (MCF) doctrine and evidence of its activities in the Chinese military-industrial complex.
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(With ANI inputs)