US to impose visa restrictions on employees of Huawei, other Chinese tech companies

By: |
July 15, 2020 11:08 PM

The announcement comes a day after the UK announced to ban Huawei from future 5G networks and phase out untrusted Huawei equipment from existing networks.

US, China, Mike Pompeo, HuaweiThe State Department will impose visa restrictions on certain employees of the Chinese technology companies like Huawei, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced that the US will impose visa restrictions on certain employees of Chinese tech companies like Huawei that provide “material support” to regimes engaging in human rights violations and abuses globally, further straining bilateral ties.

China is accused of mass detentions, religious persecution and forced sterilisation of Uyghurs and others in China’s resource-rich northwestern province of Xinjiang. Authorities there are thought to have detained about a million people in re-education camps in recent years for “vocational training” to counter radicalism and separatism in Xinjiang.

The US last week imposed sanctions and visa restrictions on three senior Chinese officials, including the regional boss of the ruling communist party, for alleged human rights abuses targeting Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and members of other minority groups in the restive Muslim-majority Xinjiang province.

“The United States has a Huawei announcement of our own today. The State Department will impose visa restrictions on certain employees of the Chinese technology companies like Huawei that provide material support to regimes engaging in human rights violations and abuses globally,” Pompeo told reporters.

“Companies impacted by today’s action include Huawei, an arm of the CCP’s (Communist Party of China) surveillance state that censors political dissidents and enables mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the indentured servitude of its population shipped all over China. Certain Huawei employees provide material support to the CCP regime that commits human rights abuses,” he added.

“Telecommunications companies around the world should consider themselves on notice: If they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers,” Pompeo said.

The announcement comes a day after the UK announced to ban Huawei from future 5G networks and phase out untrusted Huawei equipment from existing networks.

“We will certainly take time to discuss the UK’s commendable decision to ban Huawei gear from its 5G networks and phase out the equipment from its existing networks. The UK joins the United States and now many other democracies in becoming clean countries, nations free of untrusted 5G vendors. In the same way, many major telecom companies like Telefonica, Telco Italia and NTT have become clean carriers,” Pompeo said.

The move has further strained the relations between US and China after President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order to end the preferential economic treatment for Hong Kong after Beijing imposed a controversial national security law in the Asian trading hub to curb autonomy and democratic freedoms.

Trump has also signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act that gives his administration powerful new tools to hold responsible the individuals in the entities involved in extinguishing Hong Kong’s freedom.

General Secretary Xi Jinping violated the Chinese Communist Party’s promises to Hong Kong that were made in a UN-registered treaty, he said, adding, “he didn’t have to do that; he made that choice. We have to deal with China as it is not as we wish it to be.”

“Other nations are arriving at the same conclusion. Australia and Canada have suspended their expedition treaties with the territory. I leave on Monday for a quick trip to the United Kingdom and to Denmark, and I’m sure that the Chinese Communist Party and its threat to free peoples around the world will be high on top of that agenda,” he added.

Pompeo also reiterated that the South China Sea is not China’s maritime empire.

China claims nearly all of the disputed South China Sea, though Taiwan, the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam all claim parts of it. Beijing has built artificial islands and military installations in the South China Sea.

“If Beijing violates the international law, and free nations do nothing, then history shows that the CCP will simply take more territory. That happened in the last administration,” he said.

“Our statement gives significant support to ASEAN leaders who have declared that the South China Sea disputes must be resolved through international law, not might makes right. What the CCP does to the Chinese people is bad enough, but the free world shouldn’t tolerate Beijing’s abuses as well,” Pompeo said.

Earlier, while announcing the visa restrictions, Pompeo said that the US has long been a beacon of hope for the world’s most oppressed people, and a voice for those who have been silenced.

“We have been especially vocal about the Chinese Communist Party’s human rights abuses, which rank among the worst in the world,” he said.

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