China’s human rights abuses have not gone unnoticed by the Trump administration, despite it seeming like they’re giving them a free pass. In reality, the U.S., have blacklisted 28 different Chinese entities, ranging from tech companies to politicians to diplomats. China has also retaliated against the U.S’s retaliation by restricting the visas of U.S., citizens who have ties to anti-China sentiments.
According to the BBC, this move comes in light of China’s persecution of more than a million Uyghurs and Kazakhs, both of whom are part of a Muslim minority group in Xinjiang, China. The BBC wrote…
“’We’re going to continue to talk about these human rights violations,’ the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, told PBS.
“The US Department of Commerce alleges the blacklisted entities are involved in ‘repression, mass arbitrary detention, and high-technology surveillance’.”
According to CNN, Beijing fired back against the U.S., blacklists – which consisted of Huawei, Hikvision and various top Chinese companies specializing in artificial intelligence – claiming that the claims of China’s concentration camps being inhumane and riddled with abuse were “groundless and senseless” and that it violated the “basic rules of international relations”.
In a press statement, Geng Shuang, a spokesman for China’s foreign ministry, stated…
“We urge the US to immediately correct its mistakes, withdraw relevant decisions and stop interfering with China’s internal affairs. China will continue to take resolute measures to firmly safeguard its national sovereignty and developmental interests.”
This incident was also covered recently in an episode by China Uncensored.
What’s interesting is that during the press briefing, the spokesman for the State party was asked if China would retaliate, CNN quoted the exchange, writing the following…
“Asked about potential retaliation against American companies, the spokesman said, ‘Please keep watching.’”
This turned out to be prophetic, as China moved to restrict the visas of U.S., citizens who they claimed had ties to “anti-China” movements.
Two days after CNN’s report, India Today reported that China announced the visa restrictions, stating that it was in light of the U.S,. cracking down on visas for Chinese scholars, which was instituted back in May.
India Today reported that a source close to the State party informed them that…
“This is not something we want to do but we don’t seem to have any choice.
“The plan has been widely discussed by senior police officers over recent months, but made more likely to be implemented after the Hong Kong protests and the US visa ban on Chinese officials,”
This all comes amid trade talks between China and the U.S., with President Trump wanting fairer trades between the U.S., and China. China’s incorrigible attitude in adjusting trades resulted in President Trump raising tariffs from 25% to 30% on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.
The idea is to get China to bend to the new trade deal amid all the controversy surrounding Hong Kong.
This also comes at a time where China being thrust into the international spotlight has dragged many of its U.S., business partners into the light as well, including the NBA and Blizzard, both of whom have been criticized for their pro-censorship sanctions enacted in order to retain business relations with China.
Blizzard, in particular, was on the receiving end of a rather prominent media campaign centered around boycotting the video game studio after they maliciously suspended a player and fired two casters during a post-game segment where the Hong Kong player championed for the liberation of his home. The backlash was so immense and garnered so much attention, that Blizzard partially relented, reducing the suspension from a year down to six months, as well as reinstating the two casters with a six month suspension as well.
This half-hearted tactic garnered the attention of international human rights organization, Access Now, who wrote an open letter condemning Blizzard of human rights abuses, imploring them to drop all suspensions and actions against the player and casters.
This whole thing has spiraled into one giant geopolitical mess, but likewise, it has also made for very entertaining times.
(Thanks for the news tip Mugen Tenshin)