US Announces Travel Sanctions for Chinese Officials

The Biden administration tightened existing US travel bans against Chinese officials accused of oppressing ethnic and religious minorities.

Sanctions are being imposed on 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 in China and beyond.”

Due to their role in crackdowns on freedom of speech and religion in China and abroad, the State Department has barred Chinese officials who were involved with violations against Uyghurs from entering the United States. 

The government did not specify which officials would be affected by the increased restriction, nor did it provide an estimate of how many people would be affected.

The new sanctions added to visa restrictions imposed by the Trump administration in response to China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in Xinjiang’s western province, as well as suppression of pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and Tibet freedom supporters.

Similarly, in 2020, prosecutors charged eight persons with working on behalf of the Chinese government in a pressure campaign aimed at pressuring a New Jersey citizen wanted by Beijing to return to China to face prosecution.

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