US Announces Visa Sanctions On Chinese Officials Over Restricted Access To Tibet
In a massive diplomatic move, United States announced visa sanctions on several Chinese officials who, it believes, are restricting foreigner's access to Tibet. This comes as another blow to the Chinese authorities from the Trump administration which has constantly denounced its treatment of Hong Kong as well as slammed the human rights violation in Xinjiang and Chinese aggression in the South China Sea.
In its current move, the Trump administration has now hit an unspecified number of Chinese officials while eliminating their ability to travel to the US. The decision was announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement that accused China of systematically obstructing travel of foreign diplomats, journalists, and tourists to Tibet, where Chinese visitors enjoyed "far greater access than the United States".
Today I announced visa restrictions on PRC officials involved in restricting foreigners' access to Tibet. We will continue to seek reciprocity in our relationship.- Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) July 7, 2020
Though Pompeo's statement did not mention any names or numbers, it said that the visa ban applied to all officials from the Chinese communist party who are found to be "substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies related to access for foreigners to Tibetan areas."
"Access to Tibetan areas is increasingly vital to regional stability, given the PRC's human rights abuses there, as well as Beijing's failure to prevent environmental degradation near the headwaters of Asia's major rivers," the statement added.
US supports India
Keeping with up US-India ties, the Trump administration has shown support for India amid the LAC faceoff with China. Soon after the Galwan valley clash, the US released a statement offering condolences to the families of the 20 Indian soldiers who lost their lives.
"We are closely monitoring the situation between Indian and Chinese forces along the Line of Actual Control," a State Department spokesperson said. "We note the Indian military has announced that 20 soldiers have died, and we offer our condolences to their families," the official said.
Image credits: AP