US imposes travel bans on Chinese officials over repressive acts

US secretary of State – Anthony Blinken [Photo: Deadline]

United States President Joe Biden’s administration is imposing travel bans on Chinese officials, whom it accuses of repressing Uighur Muslims, as well as other ethnic and religious minorities.

The US State Department announced that it is barring the officials from traveling to the US, following their involvement in repressive acts and crackdowns on freedom of speech and religion in China and abroad.

The department did not identify which officials would be subject to the expanded ban, nor say how many would be affected.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the sanctions are being applied to Chinese officials who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, policies or actions aimed at suppressing religious and spiritual practitioners, members of ethnic minority groups among others.

The move adds to visa restrictions originally imposed by the Trump administration over China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang as well as for repression of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and advocates for freedoms in Tibet.

The United States rejects efforts by (Chinese) officials to harass, intimidate, surveil, and abduct members of ethnic and religious minority groups, including those who seek safety abroad, and U.S. citizens, who speak out on behalf of these vulnerable populations,” Blinken said. “We are committed to defending human rights around the world and will continue to use all diplomatic and economic measures to promote accountability.”

The criminal cases, filed in federal court in Brooklyn, alleged longstanding efforts to dig up dirt on dissidents, intimidate them and stifle their speech.

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