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On Tuesday, Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, announced travel restrictions on several Chinese government officials. The officials are suspected of having taken part in human rights abuses and detention of several minority Muslim groups in Xinjiang.

Pompeo calls out China on human rights violation

This is the first step the Trump administration has taken to punish the perpetrators of the abuses. For over two years, the Chinese government has detained over one million Uyghur Muslims and people of other minority groups in incarceration camps. They have tried to force them to conform to the doctrines of the communist party.

Pompeo described the draconian controls, mass surveillance, and a repressive detention campaign against Kazakhs, Uyghurs, and other groups in Xinjiang China. He indicated that the US was issuing visa restrictions to the responsible communist party and government officials. He added that family members of the restricted officials are also subject to the travel restrictions.

The announcement indicated that the US is increasingly ready to consider the advice of officials focused on Beijing and the strategic challenges its poses. The US is calling on China to end the repressive campaign in Xinjiang and release all detained people. Pompeo also indicated that Beijing should stop coercing Chinese Muslims living abroad to go back.

US blacklists Chinese AI start-ups

The latest move opens a new front on an already deteriorating relationship between the US and China. On Monday, US officials blacklisted police departments and Chinese companies from buying American technology. The companies are reportedly on the front line of Beijing’s surveillance and AI. Most of them are selling sophisticated technology to the Chinese government that it uses to monitor people.

The developments come days before the US and China resumes trade negotiations. This will put a chill over the talks. In the blacklist announcement, the US indicated its willingness to suppress the technological dream of China. China has greatly invested in various technology companies as it tries to be at par with the US. Some of the companies included in the Monday announcement are leading AI start-ups in the world.