Peking met new “anti-Chinese” measures by the Trump administration on Thursday, calling the new visa restrictions imposed by the State Department on over 90 million members of the Chinese Communist Party “political repression”.
The new provisions – effective immediately as of Wednesday – limit the length of U.S. visitor visas granted to registered Communist Party members and their immediate families to a single entry, lasting only 30 days, according to the New York Times.
Denial of the standard 10-year multiple-entry visas could affect about 270 million Chinese citizens with ties to their country’s ruling party, including those less politically inclined to join to promote business interests on the mainland.
At a regular press conference on Thursday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hua Chunying accused the Trump administration of “ideological bias” and a “Cold War mentality.
She described the visa restrictions as “political repression by extreme anti-Chinese forces” in Washington.
Hua said China had “filed representations” with the U.S. about the new rules, and called on President Trump to “abandon hatred of the Chinese Communist Party.
According to the Times, the restrictions will not affect other types of visas, such as immigration.
“For decades we allowed the CCP free and unfettered access to U.S. institutions and businesses, while the same privileges were never freely extended to U.S. citizens in China,” a State Department spokesman was quoted as saying.
The Chinese State Department did not say whether Beijing would take punitive measures as a result.
On Wednesday, China’s state-owned Xinhua News Agency said there was a “resurgence of McCarthyism” in America, describing the actions of the current government as “stealing the future of the U.S. people and damaging relations between the two largest economies in the world.
The new visa restrictions are only one of many measures taken by President Donald Trump against Beijing in the last weeks of his White House term.
In the midst of his ongoing trade war with China, President Trump last month issued an executive order prohibiting U.S. investment in Chinese companies that his State Department says have ties to the People’s Liberation Army.
It is said that the president is considering further sanctions against a long list of Chinese aerospace companies. The ban will prevent them from buying US technologies and other related goods.
China, for its part, has used “return sanctions” against U.S. defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon for supplying multi-billion-dollar weapons to the self-governing island of Taiwan.
According to its strictly regulated state media, Beijing had been prepared for the “final madness” of the Trump administration before it took office.
In Communist Party publications, the tough U.S. measures were described as Trump’s way of dictating future China policy to the new Biden government.