The US government is considering banning travel to the United States by all members of the Chinese Communist Party and their families.
A person familiar with the matter said Thursday that senior officials had begun circulating a draft of a possible presidential order.
US media reported that the discussions are focused on whether to deny visas to more than 90 million Chinese. The source said that government officials are also debating whether to block the Communist Party members’ children from attending American universities.
China dismissed the idea: “This is against the trend of the 21st century, and it is very absurd”, a foreign ministry spokesperson said.
“We’re working our way through, under the president’s guidance, about how to think about pushing back against the Chinese Communist Party”, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo said earlier. “We keep every option on the table with regard to China”, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said.
The latest announcement is expected to further strain relations between Washington and Beijing, which in recent months have clashed over China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, its tightening grip on Hong Kong, its disputed claims in the South China Sea, and accusations of human rights crimes in Xinjiang.