China’s Foreign Ministry has dismissed the contents of a report suggesting that Washington is preparing to introduce travel restrictions against members of the Chinese Communist Party (CPP), saying the idea as “absurd” if the report is accurate.
“If the report is true, then the US is publicly choosing to be in opposition with 1.4 billion Chinese people,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters at a press briefing on Friday.
“This completely violated the will of the people in the US and China and the trend in the 21st century, and is very absurd,” she added.
The New York Times reported earlier this week that the Trump administration was considering its strongest travel restrictions yet against Chinese nationals, with ‘officials with knowledge’ of the proposal saying the ban may target CPP members and their families.
If implemented, the proposed executive decision would revoke CPP member Chinese nationals’ visas to the US and lead to their expulsion.
In addition to CPP members, the White House is reportedly also considering entry bans for members of China’s military and senior executives of state-owned companies.
NYT stressed that there would be practical and technical challenges in enforcing a travel ban of this size, given that the CPP has over 90.5 million members, and when accounting for families, as many as 270 million people may be affected. An estimated 3 million Chinese nationals are said to visit the US each year.
Late last month, the US slapped travel restrictions on senior CPP officials over Beijing’s alleged ‘evisceration’ of Hong Kong's autonomy.