After a video call between US President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping last week, the US State Department issued a statement early this week. In the statement, Washington said it would crack down on transnational repression of Chinese officials and restrict visas for some Chinese officials.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Monday, March 21, that the US is pushing for accountability for transnational repression committed by Chinese officials.

The statement said the State Department is taking action against Chinese officials. They are involved in repression against ethnic minorities, members of religious groups, and people of spiritual faith inside and outside China, including in the US.

The State Department reiterated its support for those who bravely speak out despite the threat of retaliation from the Chinese government.

Yan Jianfa ( 颜建发 ) is the deputy executive director of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy and a professor at Taiwan’s Jianxing University of Science and Technology. He told Chinese-language media Da Ji Yuan that the US’s sanctions on Chinese officials involved in transnational repressions have four main meanings.

Firstly, the Ukraine war has not changed the US strategy. Washington still regards China as the most significant threat.

Secondly, the professor said that Blinken’s statement means the US still holds the dominant position in US-China relations. And the Biden-Xi talk serves as a US’s warning to China, not a typical exchange.

He said that it seems Biden did not seek assistance from China. Because if the US is seeking help from China for the Ukraine issue, there should be no succeeding sanctions on Chinese officials.

Thirdly, Prof. Yan said that the US’ tightening of visa and immigration policies for Chinese officials has a divisive effect on the Chinese Communist Party.

The expert said that it was all state-to-state, government-to-government in the past, but now Biden is going directly to crack down on these officials. And this will divide the CCP. Because they are afraid of this kind of punishment, these Chinese officials might adopt a non-cooperative attitude toward the Chinese government’s policies or even act negatively.

In the statement, Blinken also said, “The United States reaffirms its support for those who bravely speak out despite the threat of retaliation.”

Regarding this, Professor Yan commented that the State Secretary wants to seize this statement to encourage the dissidents inside and outside of China, who are enduring harassment and oppression by the Chinese government. He might want to show that the US can be their biggest support and reliance.

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.