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Trade War Blunders: US Visa Restrictions and the NBA Ban

Trade War Blunders: US Visa Restrictions and the NBA Ban

Trade talks between China and the United States will continue in a couple of days on Thursday and Friday. Considering that it’s quite inexplicable that the Trump administration has just implemented visa restrictions against 28 Chinese companies barring them from trading with any U.S. company.

These restrictions, according to Pompeo, are aimed at officials “who are believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, the detention and abuse of Uighurs, Kazakhs, or other members of Muslim minority groups”.

Max Baucus, a former U.S. ambassador to China commented on the matter, “You don’t do these things prior to negotiations. It does not set a good tone, that’s tactically. Strategically, all these actions — I think — are causing the Chinese to wonder: ‘What is the US’ real motive here?’” (source)

Beijing’s s foreign ministry asked the U.S. to refrain from meddling in its internal affairs. “We strongly urge the U.S. to immediately stop making irresponsible remarks on the issue of Xinjiang” and to “stop interfering” in “China’s internal affairs, and remove relevant Chinese entities from the list of entities as soon as possible”.

Earlier this week, China’s television network, CCTV and Tencent decided to suspend NBA pre-season programming on all of its channels following a tweet by the Houston Rocket’s General Manager. GM Dareyl Morey expressed solidarity in the tweet with Hong Kong protesters.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver defended Morey by stating that “the NBA is a value-based organization”, while CCTV commented that “national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech”.

The actions taken by the two countries are counterintuitive and will reduce the chances of a successful and friendly conclusion of the U.S.-China trade war.

Update: Chinese networks decided to also ban South Park, the popular American cartoon series. (source)

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