United States toughens visa rules for ‘malign’ Chinese Communist Party members: NYT

(Reuters) – US President Donald Trump’s administration on Wednesday issued rules to restrict travel to the United States by Chinese Communist Party members and their families, the New York Times newspaper reported on Thursday.

The policy shift limits the validity of travel visas for party members and families to one month and a single entry, the paper reported here, citing people familiar with the matter.

Previously, party members, like other Chinese citizens, could obtain US visitor visas of up to ten years’ duration, it said.

The Trump administration has sought to cement the outgoing President’s tough-on-China legacy, while relations between the world’s two largest economies have sunk to the lowest point in decades.

The move was a part of ongoing action to protect the United States from the Chinese Communist Party’s “malign influence,” the NYT quoted a spokesman for the State Department as saying.

The Department did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Washington and Beijing have clashed over China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, its tightening grip on Hong Kong, its disputed claims in the South China Sea, trade and accusations of human rights crimes in Xinjiang.

Last week, Reuters reported the United States was poised to add China’s top chipmaker SMIC and national offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC to a blacklist of alleged Chinese military companies, curbing their access to US investors.

The new visa guidelines allow American officials to determine someone’s party status based on their application and interview, the paper reported.

Reporting by Derek Francis in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill and John Stonestreet

FILE PHOTO: The flags of China, US and the Chinese Communist Party are displayed in a flag stall at the Yiwu Wholesale Market in Yiwu, Zhejiang province, China, May 10, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song

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