The Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, has imposed draconian restrictions on freedoms of expression, religion or belief, association, and the right to peaceful assembly in China. The United States, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these are not welcome in our country.”
Toward that end, the United States has imposed additional restrictions under 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 restrictions. The new restrictions are applicable to all Chinese officials engaged in repressive policies or actions against these groups, no matter their location.
This year, the United States has imposed visa restrictions and financial sanctions on CCP officials responsible for carrying out the horrific abuses taking place in Xinjiang, placing restrictions on U.S. diplomats’ access to Tibet, and contributing to the evisceration of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy under the Sino-British Joint Declaration. These actions demonstrate the U.S. government’s resolve to hold the CCP accountable for its increasing repression against the Chinese people.
The United States stands with the many individuals persecuted by the CCP for trying to exercise their fundamental rights. They include lawyer Xu Zhiyong, house church pastor Wang Yi, civil society activist Huang Qi, Uighur academic Ilham Tohti, Hong Kong democracy advocate Jimmy Lai, and Tibetan linguist and businessman Tashi Wangchuk, among many others.
Secretary Pompeo called for their “immediate release and urge(d) 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.”