US Senate Votes to Impose Visa Ban on Chinese Officials

The Senate of the United States has passed a significant bipartisan bill to impose a visa ban on Chinese officials who deny journalists, American citizens, and government officials access to Tibet. Tibet is a remote town in the Himalayas and is the homeland of the exiled Dalai Lama. In September, the US House of Representatives passed a bill — The Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act — granting unrestricted access to Tibet and its surrounding areas to US officials, common citizens, and journalists.   This Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act was designed to address China's action in excluding American citizens, diplomats, and journalists from gaining access to Tibet. The legislation, which gained unanimous support, came at the time when Trump's administration had just imposed colossal trade import duties on China — an action that has already started taking its toll on China's economy. The bill is now on its way to get the final endorsement that is the US President's signature after which, it will become a US law. A key sponsor of the bill, Senator Marco Rubio, took to Twitter on Tuesday night to announce that the US Senate had just passed the House companion to the Reciprocal Access to Tibet Act. He termed the bill a “critical legislation” which was oriented on the principle of reciprocity. According to him, this principle of reciprocity did not exist in their relationship with China. He concluded by adding that he looked forward to the president signing the bill into law soon. The bill has 14 cosponsors in the US Senate. One of them, Senator Robert Menendez, described the Tibet Reciprocity Act as an essential statement of America's values. He said he was happy that the bill had already been sent to the president before the end of the year. He went on to say that the bill was about fundamental fairness. He complained that the Chinese enjoy free access to America, but that it was unfair that they did not reciprocate the gesture.

What actions are left?

With the bill forwarded to the US president, the US Secretary of State will assess the level at which US citizens had access to Tibet within 90 days of the passing of the bill and will then send a report to Congress pointing out the Chinese officials responsible for restricting US citizens to Tibet. The Secretary will finally impose a visa ban on the officers involved, denying them access to enter the US. Stay connected to Visa Time to get updates about visa news from Asia, Africa, US, Americas, Australia, Europe, and the Middle East! We will also assist you with the visa process for the chosen country.

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