In an attack on China’s moves against Hong Kong, the Trump administration has restricted some employees of Huawei from entering the US, accusing the telecommunications giant of facilitating human rights violations in Xinjiang region.
“Companies impacted by today’s action include Huawei, an arm of the CCP’s [Communist Party of China] surveillance state that censors political dissidents and enables mass internment camps in Xinjiang and the indentured servitude of its population shipped all over China,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said.
“Telecommunications companies around the world should consider themselves on notice: If they are doing business with Huawei, they are doing business with human rights abusers.”
Huawei, however, denies it spies for China. Reacting on Pompeo’s remarks, a company spokeswoman said: “We are looking into this and will share the statement once we have one.”
While the US did not provide details of individual employees, the move is nonetheless the latest announcement in what has been an ongoing dispute with China.
Earlier, Pompeo had rejected Beijing’s claims over the South China Sea, describing them as “completely unlawful” and part of a campaign of bullying in the region.
The Trump administration also sanctioned a leading member of the Chinese Communist Party, along with three other officials over the alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, where more than one million Muslim Uighurs are being detained in so-called re-education camps.
The latest visa restrictions would come under the Immigration and Nationality Act, whereby foreigners are prevented from entering the US if the secretary of state has reason to believe it “would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences for the United States”.
“Certain Huawei employees provide material support to the CCP regime that commits human rights abuses,” Pompeo said.