China threat of tit-for-tat travel bans over Tibet access row

World | ASSOCIATED PRESS 9 Jul 2020

China said yesterday it will impose visa restrictions on US individuals following the Trump administration's imposition of travel bans on Chinese officials it accuses of restricting foreigners' access to Tibet.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said the move would target "US individuals with egregious conduct related to Tibet issues,'' but gave no specifics.

"We urge the US to stop interfering in China's internal affairs with Tibet-related issues ... so as to avoid further damage to China-US relations,'' Zhao said.

While China encourages travel to the Himalayan region, it has adopted "certain management and protection measures for foreigners visiting Tibet in accordance with law and regulations,'' along with consideration for Tibet's "special geographical and climatic conditions,'' Zhao said.

The Trump administration announced its new travel ban on Tuesday, hitting an unspecified number of Chinese officials with visa restrictions, limiting or entirely eliminating their ability to travel to the United States.

In announcing the restrictions, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accused China of systematically obstructing the travel of foreign diplomats, journalists and tourists to Tibet.

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