New US travel restrictions may target China’s Communist Party

The potential presidential proclamation, which was likened to the controversial 2017 Muslim travel ban that targeted citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries, was said to be in the draft stage.

President Donald Trump is weighing a sweeping travel order banning members of the Chinese Communist Party and their relatives from entering the United States, according to news reports that citied officials.

The New York Times reported the order could target a narrower group of the 25 members of the politburo or a wider list that includes members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) and state-owned enterprises.

The potential presidential proclamation, which was likened to the controversial 2017 Muslim travel ban that targeted citizens from certain Muslim-majority countries, was said to be in the draft stage. Trump could still reject it as a final decision is yet to be taken.

If approved, the proclamation will use the same statute in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which was used by the administration to bring in the Muslim travel ban.

The proclamation will be a marked escalation in tensions between the two countries, with the US announcing a slew of punitive measures against China in recent weeks, targeting it over Uighur Muslims, a new security law in Hong Kong, and the handling of the coronavirus disease pandemic.

Earlier on Thursday, China said it will stick to the Phase 1 trade deal it had reached with the US earlier this year, but warned it will respond to “bullying” tactics and hit out at Washington over its actions targeting Huawei.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also invited secretary of state Mike Pompeo to come to China and visit the Xinjiang region to see that there are no human rights violations, responding to US sanctions over abuse of Uighurs living there.

Asked whether the recent US sanctions would impact the trade deal, Hua said China hopes it can still be implemented.

“We always implement our commitments but we know that some in the US are oppressing China and bullying China,” she said. “China must respond to the bullying practices by the US side; we must say no, we must make responses and take reactive moves to it.”

Hua slammed the US clampdown on Chinese telecom giant Huawei as “dirty play”.