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The Donald Trump administration on Wednesday imposed fresh restrictions on the Chinese diplomats and asked them to get prior approvals from the State Department before visiting any US university campuses or holding cultural events with more than 50 people outside mission grounds.
The move from Washington comes as a response to the recent restrictions imposed by the Chinese government on American diplomats in China. The Trump administration intends to limit the alleged Chinese influence operations and espionage in the United States.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said that the US diplomats faced constant barriers to their work in China and hence the Trump administration was responding by imposing new guidelines on senior PRC diplomats in the US
American diplomats in China face constant barriers to their work. Today, the @StateDept imposed new requirements on senior PRC diplomats conducting meetings and events in the U.S. We will always advocate for fair treatment of our diplomats abroad.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) September 2, 2020
Speaking to the media, Secretary Pompeo said that the US administration simply demanded reciprocity. He added, “Access for our diplomats in China should be reflective of the access that Chinese diplomats in the United States have, and today’s steps will move us substantially in that direction.”
The State Department said it would also take action to help ensure all Chinese embassy and consular social media accounts were “properly identified”.
US universities have cautioned about threats by CCP: Secretary Pompeo
Pompeo added that the State Department had recently written to the governing boards of US universities cautioning them about the threats posed by the Chinese Communist Party. He had added that universities have been advised to have clean investments and endowment funds by disclosing Chinese firms in such funds and dropping those connected to human rights abuses.
“These threats can come in the form of illicit funding for research, intellectual property theft, intimidation of foreign students and opaque talent recruitment efforts,” Pompeo said.
On Tuesday, Pompeo said he was hopeful that dozens of Chinese-government funded Confucius Institute cultural centres on US campuses will be shut down by year-end. The institutes are accused of working to recruit “spies and collaborators”.
US calls for ban on Chinese apps
A day after the Indian government banned 118 Chinese mobile apps including PUBG, US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment Keith Krach has called on other nations to join the “clean network”.
“India has already banned 100 plus Chinese apps. We call on all freedom-loving nations & companies to join The Clean Network,” said Keith Krach, US Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment.
“The CCP is trying to leverage 5G-enabled technology to create and export George Orwell’s version of “1984” into the 21st century. India has already banned 100+ Chinese apps. We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join The Clean Network.,” he added.
Earlier, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had asserted that even US government is expanding its Clean Network program to include Chinese-made mobile apps and cloud computing services citing national security concerns. He had added that it intends to ban “untrusted” Chinese apps from the app stores of US mobile carriers and phone makers.
The “Clean Network” program is a comprehensive approach of the Trump administration to guarding US citizens’ privacy and protecting most sensitive information from aggressive intrusions by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party.