China’s authoritarian rulers impose draconian restrictions on the Chinese people’s freedoms of expression, religion or belief, association, and the right to peaceful assembly. The United States has been clear that perpetrators of human rights abuses like these are not welcome in our country.
Today, I am announcing the imposition of additional restrictions under Section 212(a)(3)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act on the issuance of visas for Chinese officials who are believed to be 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 protestors. Family members of such persons may also be subject to these additional restrictions.
This action demonstrates the U.S. government’s resolve to hold the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) accountable for its increasing repression against the Chinese people. This year, the United States has imposed visa restrictions and financial sanctions on CCP officials involved in the horrific abuses taking place in Xinjiang, restrictions on access to Tibet, and the destruction of Hong Kong’s promised autonomy. Today’s action creates additional restrictions applicable to all CCP officials engaged in such repressive activities, no matter their location.
The United States stands with the many individuals persecuted for their peaceful efforts to exercise their rights – lawyers such as Xu Zhiyong, house church pastors such as Wang Yi, civil society activists such as Huang Qi, Uyghur academics such as Ilham Tohti, democracy advocates like Jimmy Lai, and Tibetan linguists and businesspeople such as Tashi Wangchuk. We call for their immediate release and urge CCP authorities to respect the human rights and fundamental freedoms to which the people of China are entitled under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
U.S. Embassy and Consulates in China publish article criticizing Chinese Communist Party over virus
On December 21, 2020, the website of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates in Beijing published an article titled “The Free World’s Leadership Will Defeat COVID-19,” quoting Secretary of State Michael R. Pompeo’s December 18 remarks in response to the CCP virus.
He accused the Chinese Communist Party of spreading false information, obstructing investigations and peddling faulty vaccines, and called on the world to demand the truth from Beijing.
The statement is as follows:
Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State
It has now been a year since China first identified a patient in Wuhan stricken with an unknown pneumonia, now known as COVID-19. Since then, the United States and other free nations, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, have led a remarkable and unprecedented vaccine development effort that is delivering hope across the world.
This is no accident. Time and again, democracies that value transparency, the rule of law, property rights, and free-market capitalism have produced innovative solutions to public health crises. Freedom unleashes human potential, and competition spurs better outcomes, at lower costs.
In contrast, authoritarian regimes control information and stifle innovation. The Chinese Communist Party punished brave Chinese scientists, doctors, and journalists who tried to alert the world to the dangers of the spreading virus, allowing a controllable outbreak to become a global pandemic.
Even today, nearly a year after the world first learned of the outbreak, the Chinese Communist Party is still spreading disinformation regarding the virus and obstructing a World Health Organization investigation into its origin and spread. It is also peddling vaccines that lack essential data on safety and efficacy, due to a fundamental disregard for transparency and accountability regarding results from clinical trials. Both actions put Chinese citizens, and the world, at risk.
Nations of the world should demand transparency from Beijing about the origin and spread of the pandemic that has led to more than one million lives lost and millions of livelihoods ruined. If they do not do so, China’s record of public-health crises makes another future pandemic originating from China depressingly likely.