China Blasts Trump's 'Political Repression' Over U.S. Visa Restrictions

Beijing hit out at new "anti-China" Trump administration measures on Thursday, describing the State Department's new visa restrictions targeting over 90 million Chinese Communist Party members as "political repression."

The new regulations—effective immediately starting Wednesday—limit the length of U.S. visitor visas granted to registered Communist Party members and their immediate families to a single entry lasting just 30 days, according to the New York Times.

Denial of the usual 10-year, multiple-entry visitor visas could affect some 270 million Chinese citizens with ties to their country's ruling party, including those less politically inclined who join in order to further business interests in the mainland.

At a regular press briefing Thursday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying accused the Trump administration of "ideological bias" and having a "Cold War mentality."

She described the visa restrictions as "political repression by extreme anti-China forces" in Washington.

Hua said China had "lodged representations" with the U.S. over the new rules, and called on President Trump to abandon "hatred toward the Communist Party of China."

According to the Times, the restrictions will not affect other kinds of visas, such as immigration.

"For decades we allowed the CCP free and unfettered access to U.S. institutions and businesses while these same privileges were never extended freely to U.S. citizens in China," a State Department spokesperson was quoted as saying.

China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not say whether Beijing would take any punitive measures in response.

On Wednesday, China's state-owned Xinhua News Agency said there was a "resurgence of McCarthyism" in America, describing the current government's actions as "stealing the future of the U.S. people and damaging the relationship between the world's two largest economies."

The new visa restrictions are just one of a raft of measures President Donald Trump has taken against Beijing in his final weeks in the White House.

Amid his ongoing trade war with China, President Trump issued an executive order last month prohibiting U.S. investment in Chinese firms his State Department says has ties to the People's Liberation Army.

The president is said to be mulling over further sanctions against a long list of Chinese aerospace companies. The ban will prevent them from purchasing U.S. technologies and other related goods.

China, for its part, has countered with tit-for-tat sanctions on U.S. defense contractors Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon over their provision of multibillion dollar weapons to the self-ruled island of Taiwan.

According to its strictly regulated state media, Beijing had been prepared for the Trump administration's "final madness" before leaving office.

Communist Party publications have described the harsh U.S. measures as Trump's way of dictating future China policy for the incoming Biden administration.

China embassy Houston
File photo: A Chinese flag flies outside the now shuttered Chinese consulate in Houston, Texas. Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images