U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo, citing what he called the Chinese government’s human rights abuses in Tibetan areas, said the U.S. would restrict visas for some Chinese officials because Beijing obstructs U.S. diplomats, journalists and tourists traveling to the region. In a statement, Pompeo said the U.S. remained committed to promoting “meaningful autonomy” for Tibetans and upholding their fundamental human rights.
“Access to Tibetan areas is increasingly vital to regional stability, given the abusses of human rights by the PRC and the failure of Beijing to prevent environmental degradation near the headwaters of the major rivers of Asia,” Pompeo said, referring to the People’s Republic of China. “Today I am announcing visa restrictions on PRC government and Chinese Communist Party officials determined to be ‘substantially involved in the formulation or execution of policies related to access for foreigners to Tibetan areas,’” he said.
Ties between the US and China have reached their lowest point in years after the coronavirus pandemic that started struck the US hard in China. U. S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly accused Beijing of not being open about the outbreak. Pompeo said last week the new security law China has imposed on Hong Kong was an affront to all nations, and the United States last month implemented visa restrictions on officials responsible for the Hong Kong crackdown.