Joe Biden imposes travel ban on Chinese officials accused of repressing minorities

The Biden administration late Monday banned Chinese officials accused of repressing ethnic and religious minorities from traveling to the United States.

In a statement, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the travel ban applies to Chinese officials who “are responsible for or complicit in, policies or actions aimed at repressing religious and spiritual practitioners, members of ethnic minority groups, dissidents, human rights defenders, journalists , labor organizers, civil society organizers, and peaceful protesters in China and beyond.”

The sanctions expand visa restrictions initially imposed by former President Donald Trump in response to China’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in the western region of Xinjiang and repressing pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong and Tibet.

“We are all committed to defending human rights around the world and will continue to use all diplomatic and economic measures to promote accountability,” Mr. Blinken said in his statement.

The move comes after the Justice Department last week charged five men with stalking and harassing Chinese dissidents in the United States on behalf of the Beijing government.

Prosecutors say the defendants were trying to dig up dirt on the dissidents in order to stop them from speaking out against Beijing.

The State Department has said “genocide and crimes against humanity” have occurred in the Xinjiang region against Uyghur Muslims.

China has been accused of an intensified campaign of repression against Uyghurs and other minorities, including putting them in reeducation camps. It has allegedly destroyed mosques and shrines.

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