US Imposes Travel Bans on Chinese Officials Involved in Persecution of Religious and Dissident Groups

US Imposes Travel Bans on Chinese Officials Involved in Persecution of Religious and Dissident Groups
Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks after viewing the "Burma's Path to Genocide" exhibit at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington on March 21, 2022. (Kevin Lamarque/Pool via AP)

The United States on March 21 announced the imposing of visa restrictions on Chinese officials responsible for “repressive acts” against ethnic and religious minorities inside China and abroad, including the United States.

The restrictions would bar Chinese officials involved in the persecution of various victim groups from traveling to the United States.

“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,” U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement.

“We are committed to defending human rights around the world and will continue to use all diplomatic and economic measures to promote accountability.”

Blinken said sanctions would be imposed on “are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, policies or actions aimed repressing” religious believers, ethnic minorities, journalists, labor organizers, human rights activists, dissidents, and peaceful protestors in China and abroad.

It was not immediately clear who specifically would be targeted nor how many were subjected to the new restrictions. The Epoch Times contacted the State Department for clarification on the extent of the ban.

The State Department, under both the Trump and Biden administration, have previously slapped sanctions on Chinese officials involved in various abuses, including its clampdown in Hong Kong, the persecution of the spiritual group Falun Gong, and the oppression of Uyghurs in Xinjiang.

The measure comes less than a week after the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced charges against five individuals alleged to be involved in wide-ranging schemes to spy on, intimidate, harass ethnic Chinese dissidents based in the United States. Their alleged crimes formed part of the communist Chinese regime’s expansive campaign of “transnational repression,” DOJ officials said.

Blinken also demanded that the Chinese regime stop carrying out its “transnational repression,” such as endeavoring to silence Uyghur American activists and others by denying their families in China the ability to leave the country.

“The United States reaffirms its support for those who bravely speak out despite the threat of retaliation,” the secretary of state said.

“We call on the PRC [People’s Republic of China] government to end its ongoing genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang, repressive policies in Tibet, crackdown on fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong, and human rights violations and abuses, including violations of religious freedom, elsewhere in the country,” he added.

From The Epoch Times

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