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Beijing blasts US govt over visa restrictions for China Communist Party members

Beijing blasts US govt over visa restrictions for China Communist Party members
Beijing slammed “extremist anti-China forces” in the US government on Thursday as Washington revealed new restrictions on travel to the US by Chinese Communist Party members and their families.

The Trump administration issued the new rules, aimed at protecting the US from the party’s “malign influence,” on Thursday. Under the measures, the maximum validity of B1/B2 visitor visas for party members and their immediate family is being reduced from 10 years to just one month, the State Department said in a statement.

Just like other Chinese citizens, Communist Party members – of whom there are around 92 million – could obtain US visitor visas valid for a decade, but Washington changed the rules on Wednesday, the New York Times reported earlier, citing a State Department spokesman.

The new rules take immediate effect and allow only a single entry for those affected by the change, the report said, adding that the restrictions would not affect other kinds of visas.

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China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said on Thursday she wasn’t aware of the report about the new visa rules, but noted that it had been revealed previously that Washington may impose such restrictions.

“The world sees very clearly that this is an escalation of political suppression against China by some extremist anti-China forces in the US out of strong ideological bias and deep-seated Cold-War mentality,” Hua said.

Commenting on a US Justice Department statement that more than 1,000 Chinese researchers have left the US amid a crackdown on alleged technology theft, Hua said some politicians in Washington “see hatred, division, and confrontation” around them.

Beijing firmly rejects US actions that include “arbitrary harassment, persecution, and oppression against experts and scholars in the US,” she added.

The US had earlier slapped travel bans and financial sanctions on Chinese and Hong Kong officials who it says were restricting political rights in the city and on officials connected to the alleged state crackdown on Uighurs and other Muslim groups in Xinjiang. China has denied the accusations.

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