The Chinese government intends to ban US nationals who have so-called “anti-China” links from entering the country. China’s Ministry of Public Security has been planning to restrict the travel of anyone who is linked to U.S. Intelligence Services and human rights groups for months now.
However, the decision at this time is likely a result of rising concern in Beijing that the US and other governments are using these organizations to encourage the anti-government protests in mainland China and Hong Kong that have been going on for weeks.
It also comes right at the heels of the restriction that the US government imposed on Chinese officials earlier this week and as another blow to the two countries’ already-rocky relationship.
On Tuesday, the US banned several unnamed Chinese-government and Communist party officials who are believed to be involved in the mass imprisonment of more than one million people who are part of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang province.
US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, claimed in a statement that:
“China has forcibly detained over one million Muslims in a brutal, systematic campaign to erase religion and culture in Xinjiang. China must end its draconian surveillance and repression, release all those arbitrarily detained, and cease its coercion of Chinese Muslims abroad.”
This sanction elicited an angry response from the Chinese Embassy in the US, who responded on a series of tweets, claiming that the accusations are “merely made-up pretexts for [the US’s] interference” and that the ban “seriously violates the basic norms governing international relations” and “interferes in China’s internal affairs.”
The Chinese embassy added that the incarceration of the minority groups in the Xinjiang province is part of the “counter-terrorism and de-radicalization measures” taken by the Chinese government in an effort to stop the extremism and terrorism and is “in line with Chinese laws and international practices.”
Additionally, on Monday, the US Commerce Department also placed another eight Chinese tech giants on their Entity List. An announcement by the U.S. Commerce Department claims the US believes these companies were part of the “implementation of China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, Kazakhs and other members of Muslim minority groups”
Being on the entity list means the companies have to apply for licenses if they want to purchase products from U.S. suppliers. However, the licenses are difficult to obtain, and this will come as a blow to the Chinese companies’ finances.
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