WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration 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 on Thursday, a move that would worsen already-tense U.S.-China relations.
Senior officials discussing the matter have begun circulating a draft of a possible presidential order, but deliberations are at an early stage and the issue has not yet been brought to President Donald Trump, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
The discussions, first reported by the New York Times, center on whether to deny U.S. visas to potentially tens of millions of Chinese in what would be perhaps Washington’s toughest action yet in a widening feud with Beijing that some have likened to a new Cold War.
Relations between the world’s two largest economies have sunk to the lowest point in decades as they clash on multiple fronts, including China’s handling of the coronavirus outbreak, its tightening grip on Hong Kong, trade and accusations of human rights crimes in the Xinjiang region.
U.S. officials across multiple federal agencies are taking part in the process, which has also included consideration of whether to block the children of Communist Party members from attending American colleges and universities, the source told Reuters.
The fact that such a sweeping ban is being given serious thought appears to be another reflection of Trump aides’ efforts to make the tough-on-China theme a major thrust of his campaign for re-election November.
Trump and prospective Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have competed to outdo each other on which can take the strongest stand against China.
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