The US has imposed visa restrictions on Chinese Communist party officials for “undermining Hong Kong’s autonomy and violating human rights,” US Secretary of state Mike Pompeo said on Friday.
“Today, I am announcing the imposition of visa restrictions on current and former CPC representatives who are responsible or involved in undermining the degree of autonomy of Hong Kong guaranteed by the joint British-Chinese Declaration of 1984, or for violating human rights and fundamental freedoms of Hong Kong,” Pompeo said.
The Secretary of state warned that family members of these officials might also be subject to visa restrictions. Pompeo did not name specific representatives of the PRC who will be affected by this measure.
He said that the introduction of visa restrictions “fulfills the promise made by President Trump to punish representatives of the Chinese Communist party responsible for looting Hong Kong’s freedoms.”
The United States is threatening China with sanctions, accusing it of harassing Uighurs and other Muslim groups, violating human rights, including in Tibet and the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, and saying that the bill being developed by the Chinese Parliament to protect Hong Kong is aimed at eliminating its high autonomy. The Chinese authorities rejected all the accusations and criticism, calling on them not to interfere exclusively in the country’s internal affairs.
The Beijing bill provides for a ban on subversive and separatist activities. It prohibits all forms of incitement aimed at overthrowing the Central government, as well as terrorism and outside interference.