US President Donald Trump has restricted visas of Chinese government officials on top of blacklisting 28 Chinese entities this week ahead of US-China trade war negotiations to held in Washington on Thursday.
The visa restrictions and blacklisting of firms was due to human rights violations by the Chinese government, according to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
“The US calls on the People’s Republic of China to immediately end its campaign of repression in Xinjiang, release all those arbitrarily detained, and cease efforts to coerce members of Chinese Muslim minority groups residing abroad to return to China to face an uncertain fate,” said Pompeo in a statement.
“The protection of human rights is of fundamental importance, and all countries must respect their human rights obligations and commitments,” added Pompeo.
The Chinese government quickly denounced the US government claims as pretense to interfere in its domestic affairs.
“With the excuse of human rights, the US side has gone one step further today and announced visa restrictions on Chinese officials, after imposing sanctions on some Chinese organizations and companies yesterday,” stated the Chinese Embassy in the US on Twitter.
“We urge the US to correct its mistakes at once and stop its interference in China’s internal affairs,” it added.
Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He and a team of trade negotiators will meet with the US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday in what analyst predict will be very contentious due to the actions of the US government this week.