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China has accused critics of the US government of “escalating political repression” against Beijing following new visa restrictions on members of the ruling Communist Party of China and their immediate family members.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said China “would make representations” to the United States on its decision to limit those people to one-month single-entry visas.

Ms. Hua called Washington’s approach “totally inconsistent with America’s own interests” and said it would damage America’s global image.

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying at a press conference at the Foreign Ministry building in Beijing. (AP)

“I think it is obvious to everyone that this is an escalation of political repression by some extreme anti-China forces in America due to strong ideological bias and an ingrained Cold War mindset against China,” Chunying said in a daily briefing.

The State Department said in a statement yesterday that the new restrictions are intended to protect the United States from the “evil influence” of the Chinese Communist Party.

“For decades we allowed the CCP free and unrestricted access to American institutions and companies, while these same privileges were never freely extended to American citizens in China,” he said.

It was unclear how the restrictions would be enforced, as many of the party’s 92 million members do not play an active public role in its institutions.

The restrictions are the latest punitive measure taken against China’s leadership and economy amid growing disputes over human rights, the coronavirus pandemic, trade, technology, Taiwan and a host of other issues.

On Wednesday, the United States said it would block imports from a major Chinese cotton producer because of its dependence on workers detained as part of a crackdown on ethnic minorities in northwest China.

Washington has already imposed travel bans and financial sanctions on officials linked to the crackdown on Uighurs and other Chinese Muslim groups in Xinjiang, as well as Chinese and Hong Kong officials it accuses of restricting social and political rights in the semi-autonomous Chinese city through the implementation of a tough new national security law.

Joe Biden removes his mask as he prepares to speak after the US elections.
Joe Biden removes his mask as he prepares to speak after the US elections. (Getty)

China has accused critics of the US government of “escalating political repression” against Beijing.

Diplomatic ties hit a low point during the summer when the United States ordered the closure of the Chinese consulate in Houston and China responded by demanding that the United States vacate its consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu.

Washington had been loosening restrictions on Chinese travel to the United States, seeking to take advantage of the lavish spending habits of China’s nouveau riche.

Starting in 2014, Chinese travelers, whether party members or not, became eligible for multiple-entry visas valid for 10 years, with stays of 180 days allowed for each entry, while students were allowed valid visas. for five years.

China reciprocated similar treatment for US citizens.

The Chinese, who make up the largest group of foreign students in American universities, have already complained about stricter conditions for obtaining or extending visas.

Chinese academics have also faced increased scrutiny, while dozens of journalists from state media have been forced to return home and visa restrictions have been imposed on those who remain, prompting retaliation from Beijing.

Analysts have long speculated that President Donald Trump will impose tougher measures on China before leaving office on January 20, putting President-elect Joe Biden in a bind to handle the increasingly contentious relationship.

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