On Monday, Hua Chunying, Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman stated that China strongly condemns US interference in its domestic affairs, as the US prepares to impose sanctions on Chinese officials over the Hong Kong crackdown.
In a regular press briefing, Chunying said that China will be compelled to take strict measures in order to protect its sovereignty and security if the US decides to go ahead with these sanctions. These remarks came after US State Department on December 4, said that it had terminated five cultural exchange programs with China.
The sanctions include visa restrictions on at least a dozen high profile Chinese officials, who were inspected to be involved in Bejing’s disqualification of elected opposition legislators in Hong Kong, Reuters reported on Monday. Mike Pompeo, Secretary of State is expected to sign off on the list containing names of high-ranking officials. This development comes as President Donald Trump during his last weeks in office continues to put pressure on the ruling Communist government of Xi Jinping in China.
The United States Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo tweeted via his twitter handle, “Today I announced visa restrictions on United Front Work Department officials who have engaged in malign activities to co-opt and coerce those who oppose Beijing’s policies. We call on the PRC to end its use of coercion to suppress freedom of expression.”
Today I announced visa restrictions on United Front Work Department officials who have engaged in malign activities to co-opt and coerce those who oppose Beijing’s policies. We call on the PRC to end its use of coercion to suppress freedom of expression.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) December 4, 2020
According to CNN, the visa restrictions will also be extended to the family members of the targeted high-ranking officials, and their visas will be reduced from ten years to one month and that too single entry.
US Senator makes racist comments prior to US announcing sanctions
US senator Sasha Blackburn, tweeted racial slurs against China just a day before Pompeo announced that US was going to impose sanctions on Chinese officials.
Her tweet read “China has a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing. Some things will never change…”
China has a 5,000 year history of cheating and stealing. Some things will never change…
— Sen. Marsha Blackburn (@MarshaBlackburn) December 3, 2020
This tweet immediately created a rift between the Chinese and Americans, even high state officials of both countries did not back down in speaking their mind. Lilijan Zhao, Spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, and Hua Chunying showed their full support by retweeting tweets without making comments of their own.
That sounds more like what white people did.
And remind me please, how America was founded? 🤔
The number of people #America murdered worldwide within less than 300 years is astonishing though.
This lady just brought #racism, sinophobia to a whole new level. 🙄️ https://t.co/PmqKPa8CB5
— Li Jingjing 李菁菁 (@Jingjing_Li) December 4, 2020
Despite the heat, Chinese foreign minister ready for talks with Biden
China’s foreign minister Wang Yi while addressing a group of U.S business officials, on Monday, expressed his hope for cooperation with the future Biden administration. However, before extending a friendly hand, Wang Yi took the chance to warn US of its interference within China’s domestic affairs.
President-elect Joe Biden said that he won’t immediately remove tariffs but will be willing to hold talks towards the improvement of relations.
As the White House prepares for the transition of power, many hope this will introduce a new and a better chapter for US-China relations.