On Monday, the State Department announced that the US was imposing visa restrictions on Chinese officials for alleged “repressive acts” against China’s ethnic and religious minorities.
The State Department didn’t name the Chinese officials or say how many were being targeted with the sanctions.
The visa restrictions come as the US is complaining about Beijing’s relationship with Moscow. Over the past few years, Russia and China have grown closer together as they face similar pressure from the West.
Amid the fighting in Ukraine and the US-led sanction campaign against Russia, Biden administration officials have warned China of “consequences” if it helps Russia skirt sanctions or provides support for the war in Ukraine.
China has been very clear that it has no plans to support Russia militarily in any way, and Chinese officials have repeatedly called for a diplomatic solution. Chinese President Xi Jinping conveyed Beijing’s position in a call with President Biden last week.
Xi said the top priorities in the conflict should be to “continue dialogue and negotiations, avoid civilian casualties, prevent a humanitarian crisis, cease fighting and end the war as soon as possible.”
While Beijing doesn’t have plans to back the war, the Chinese market will provide Russia with a place to sell its oil as it is facing bans from the US and possibly Europe. In early February, China and Russia announced oil and gas deals worth about $117.5 billion. More US sanctions and pressure from the West will only cause this trade relationship to continue to grow.