US imposes visa restrictions on more Chinese citizens
   Date :06-Dec-2020

US imposes visa restricti
By Lalit K Jha :
Pompeo called on China to end its use of “coercion and intimidation” tactics to suppress freedom of expression
THE US on Friday imposed visa restrictions on Chinese officials and individuals engaged in overseas influence operations, the latest punitive measures against China by the outgoing Trump administration. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the restrictions would apply to Chinese Communist Party officials or any individual taking part in propaganda or influence campaigns linked to the United Front Work Department. The Chinese Communist Party’s United Front Work Department has been accused of being engaged in the use or threat of physical violence, theft and release of private information, espionage, sabotage, or malicious interference in domestic political affairs, academic freedom, personal privacy, or business activity. Pompeo called on China to end its use of “coercion and intimidation” tactics to suppress freedom of expression.
US ends 5 cultural programs with China in further escalation: THE departing Trump administration has ended five cultural-exchange programmes with China that it says were being used for Chinese propaganda and had no benefit to the United States. The terminations follow new visa restrictions announced by Washington limiting stays in the US by members of China’s Communist Party and signal further erosion in relations with Beijing in the final weeks of President Trump’s time in office. Pompeo said the exchange programmes he ended were fully paid for and operated by the Chinese government “as soft power propaganda tools.” “These malign activities are intended to co-opt and coerce sub-national leaders, overseas Chinese communities, academia, and other civil society groups both in the United States and other countries in furtherance of the CCP’s authoritarian narratives and policy preferences,” Pompeo said.
The restrictions are the latest punitive measure taken against China’s leadership and economy in response to sharpening disputes over human rights. Announcing the sanctions, Pompeo said that it will continue to implement such visa restrictions to make clear that those responsible for actions that contravene the rule-based international order are not welcome in the US. The US will continue to review its authorities to respond to these concerns, he said. Pompeo said that the Communist Party has long sought to spread Marxist-Leninist ideology and exert its influence all over the world. The United Front Work Department “funds and supports overseas organisations to spread propaganda and coerces and bullies those who would oppose Beijing’s policies,” he alleged.
The United Front frequently intimidates members of academia, businesses, civil society groups, and Chinese diaspora communities, including members of ethnic and religious minority communities who speak out against horrific human rights abuses taking place in Xinjiang, Tibet, and elsewhere in China, he alleged. “Its coercive tactics target individuals viewed as working against CCP interests. These tactics include the release of personal details of their targets and even their family members online as a means of political intimidation,” Pompeo said.