China considers banning ‘odious’ US politicians over Xinjiang criticism

State-run Global Times suggests visa restrictions are coming and that Hong Kong-related sanctions are just the beginning

The Guardian
Date: 3 Dec 2019
By: Lily Kuo in Beijing

 A guard watchtower at an internment centre in Dabancheng in Xinjiang Photograph: Thomas Peter/Reuters

US diplomats may soon be barred from entering Xinjiang, the far north-western Chinese region where more than a million Uighurs and other Muslim minorities are believed to be detained in internment camps.

Hu Xijin, editor of the state-run Global Times, said Beijing was considering banning all US diplomatic passport holders from entering Xinjiang in retaliation for US legislation that would punish Chinese officials for human rights abuses.

Hu, who did not cite where his information came from, said China was also considering imposing visa restrictions on US officials and lawmakers for their “odious performance on Xinjiang issue”.

'Allow no escapes': leak exposes reality of China's vast prison camp network

The leak of a cache of classified government documents seen by the Guardian, which details the use of detention camps in Xinjiang, has put more pressure on Beijing. US lawmakers are preparing a bill, passed by the Senate in September, that would put sanctions on Chinese officials and bar the export of US goods and services to government entities in Xinjiang.

Recent US criticisms of Chinese policies in Xinjiang as well as Hong Kong, where the local government has repeatedly tried to put down anti-government protests, have exacerbated already worsening ties. The two sides are attempting to negotiate an end to a trade war that has lasted more than a year.    [FULL  STORY]